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California Is On The Cusp Of 100,000 Total COVID Deaths

A line graph showing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths over time. Currently, all three metrics have plateaued since falling from a January peak.
(Courtesy of the L.A. County Public Health Dept. )
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COVID-19 will soon have claimed the lives of 100,000 California residents — roughly the population of Norwalk. About one third of them lived in Los Angeles County.

Latino and Black residents have suffered the highest death rates.

People 65 and older, and anyone with underlying health conditions, remain at higher risk.

For people 65 to 79, the death rate is three times higher for people without the bivalent booster. Unvaccinated people are more than 15 times more likely to die compared to people in that age group who had the booster.

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Only 40% of people 65 and older in L.A. County have received the bivalent booster.

“There's clear evidence that the bivalent booster adds protection even compared to those already vaccinated without the bivalent booster,” public health director Barbara Ferrer said on Thursday.

Many deaths went unrecorded or were attributed to other causes.

The toll also doesn't include those who died for other reasons because of the pandemic for example, because they couldn't get the care they needed for diseases like heart attacks, diabetes and cancer.

A slide highlighting COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics access for people with disabilities or older people in L.A. County. Access services by calling 1 833 540 0473
Courtesy of the L.A. County Public Health Dept. )

Even though hitting 100,000 deaths has been widely expected, the reality is still devastating.

“We're over 35,500 deaths here in L.A. County alone,” Ferrer said. “The magnitude of that is unimaginable, except for the people who have to live with it.”

Although the death rate is much lower than the last two winters, Ferrer said on average there are 18 deaths each day from COVID-19 in the county.

About 1.1 million people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.

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