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COVID Hospitalizations Hit Record Low

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By Jorge Casuso

July 14, 2023 -- The number of patients in Los Angeles County hospitalized with COVID dropped to its lowest level since the pandemic began 40 months ago, according to Public Health data released Thursday.

On average, there are 39 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day in the County of more than 10 million, as the number of weekly coronavirus cases dropped by nearly 200 cases to 1,544 this week.

So far, hospitalizations -- considered the most reliable metric -- have not seen the post-Independence Day surges experienced in 2020, 2021 and 2022, when they increased by up to 300 percent between June 1 and August 1.

"The LA County metrics are reassuring, especially when compared to the last three summers when we experienced increases in transmission and hospitalizations in July," said County Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Santa Monica saw cases drop to 31 per week, the lowest level since the first cornonavirus cases were reported in March 2020, although the number represents an undercount due to the large number of at-home COVID test results that are not reported to Public Health.

As of July 10, there was a total of 26,685 coronavirus cases reported in in the city of some 93,000 and 306 virus-related deaths, with one death reported over the past month.

The County reported 13 new COVID-related deaths this week, compared with 1,612 deaths in the week of January 11, 2021 during the height of the pandemic.

Nine of the 13 deaths were of people over 65 years of age, a trend that has persisted since the start of the pandemic.

Data released by County officials last month show that half of the 30 open outbreaks being investigated by Public Health were at skilled nursing facilities.

Currently, wastewater concentrations of the virus that results in a COVID-19 infection indicate that "there is low concern for rapid spread of the virus at this time," Health officials said.

"Wastewater concentrations provide more accurate information about COVID-19 transmission levels than reported cases alone," officials said.

While deaths and hospitalizations are at a near record low and "there are no current signs of a summer surge," Public Health continues to monitor data to assess the impact of large 4th of July gatherings and increased travel on transmission rates," officials said.

"Public Health officials also are monitoring changing COVID-19 trends throughout the Southern Hemisphere in anticipation of what to possibly expect in Los Angeles County this winter," officials said.

"Current global case trends from the Southern Hemisphere indicate that low COVID transmission in summer does not preclude a winter surge."

As of July 10, there were 3,758,955 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Los Angeles and 36,547 reported virus-related deaths.

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