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COVID Cases Rise As Delta Variant Drives Community Spread In LA

A color-coded chart has a yellow line dramatically rising to indicate the growing rate of positive COVID tests among unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people in LA County.
(Courtesy of the LA Department of Public Health)
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Coronavirus transmission has grown to what the health officials consider a “high” rate. On Thursday, Los Angeles County health officials reported 3,248 new cases — nearly 45% of 7,458 new cases recorded in the state on this date.

For context, with a population of about 10 million residents, about one in four Californians live in L.A. County.

The good news is test positivity rates are rising at a slower pace.

“This suggests to us that perhaps the rate of increase may be stabilizing,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Public Health Department.

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Screen Shot 2021-07-29 at 2.04.58 PM.png
(Courtesy of the L.A. Department of Public Health)

She said it would take another few days to see the effect of the countywide indoor mask mandate that her department reinstated earlier this month (July 17).

The highly contagious delta variant was found in 96% of tests that had advanced sequencing, which is consistent with its rise nationwide.

Screen Shot 2021-07-29 at 2.11.02 PM.png
(Courtesy of the L.A. Department of Public Health)

Although cases are up across the county, affluent areas on the West Side, including Beverly Hills, are seeing some of the highest case numbers.

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“It does appear that transmission in these neighborhoods is being driven mostly by community spread among young adults,” Ferrer said.

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(Courtesy of the L.A. Department of Public Health)

It’s crystal clear that vaccination rates in younger people, across the board in L.A. County, are much lower than they are for older people.
— L.A. County Public Health Department Director Barbara Ferrer

The rate for new vaccinations continues to creep up. To date, 60% of people old enough to get the free vaccines have gotten one shot and 52% are fully vaccinated.

“It’s crystal clear that vaccination rates in younger people, across the board in L.A. County, are much lower than they are for older people,” Ferrer said.

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Black Angelenos remain the least vaccinated and have experienced the most cases and hospitalizations in the most recent surge.

One note: After criticism about previous graphics that failed to show the scale of cases among the fully vaccinated, L.A. County used a new visualization in Thursday's presentation:

A large green square at the right has a very small purple box in the left corner magnified to show cases among fully vaccinated people in L.A. County. there are 4.934.041 fully vaccinated, 10.656 (0.22% have tested positive), 410 (0.008% have been hospitalized) and 35 (0.0007%) have died.
(Courtesy of the LA Department of Public Health)
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