“It is worrying to continue to see a slight increase in cases and now, apparently, no decline in our hospital stays,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles Department of Health, today. “I think it’s too early to say whether we are in a fifth wave or not. At best we hope it’s a small climb and not nearly like last winter. ”Ferrer said avoiding such a climb“ needs us all ”.
Last week, Covid test positivity rates and virus-induced hospital admissions rose in Los Angeles and California for the first time in months. In Los Angeles, Ferrer reported Thursday that test positive had risen to 1.2% from a low of 0.7% on October 18. That might not seem like much, but it’s a 71% increase over 10 days in a 7-day measurement average that smooths out daily bumps. Today the test positive in LA was 1.6%. That’s more than double the recent 0.7% low.
Today the number of new cases in Los Angeles County has risen to 1,829. Ferrer said the number of new cases includes nearly 400 test results that have been withheld by a single large testing laboratory. The county reported a similar backlog yesterday when it announced 1,605 new cases. The number of new cases in the past week was between about 450 and 1,000, even if you subtract 400 in the last two days, the daily cases have increased by at least 20-40%. It’s only been two days but not a trend that everyone wants to continue.
Ferrer described the state of hospital admissions related to Covid as “not a decline”, but the truth is that such hospital admissions have also been slowly increasing. About 10 days ago, on October 24, the number of Covid patients in LA hospitals was 617. As of November 1 (the latest date for which data is available) there were 651 such hospital admissions. That is an increase of 5%.
There were only 12 new Covid-related deaths in LA today, which is good news. However, Ferrer warned of death rates among the disgruntled people: “Tragically, they are ticking now.”
One of their main concerns is “virus seasonality,” which means that diseases like Covid and the flu are more likely to spread when the weather cools and people spend more time together indoors. With that in mind, Ferrer raised concerns about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
“We all had a devastating November / December last year,” said Ferrer. “We have to learn from the past not to move fast when we see a slight downward trend as we transition into colder weather.”