Case Count High, Serious Cases Low
New Covid Cases Continue to Remain High but Hospitalizations and Deaths Are Proportionately Lower than a Month Ago
January 13, 2022
By Alyssa Erdley, Observer Staff Writer
1/5/22 - On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health announced 21,790 new Covid cases and 24 new deaths. At least 1,792 people are currently hospitalized with the stated cause being Covid-19. The daily case numbers have been hovering around 20,000 since spiking up around December 29.
Relatively speaking, hospitalizations and deaths are much lower now, however, than a month ago. With a 7-day total of 146,591 new Covid cases, only 1,792 individuals are hospitalized. This is 1.2% of the number of new cases. 97 people have died of Covid during these 7 days, which is .07% of the total number of cases occurring during this same time period. Obviously, deaths lag behind cases, but it is instructive to compare these percentages with a month ago, before the Omicron variant helped spur this winter's surge of Covid cases.
For the week ending December 1, when the first Omicron case was detected in California, there was a 7-day total of only 6,312 new Covid cases (compared to 146,591). 562 people were hospitalized with it (compared to 1,792). That is 8.9% hospitalizations per case last month - as compared to the 1.2% this past week. The 7-day sum of deaths during this last week of November was 114 - a number higher that is actually higher than the 97 individuals who have died during this past week of surging Covid cases. The percentage of deaths last month compared to the 7-day case total was 1.8% - to compare with the .07% during this past week.
Of course, hospitalizations will lag about two weeks behind cases and deaths will lag four or more weeks beyond cases. But the sheer number of new cases compared to the relatively flat rate of death is impressive. And case numbers have been rising since the middle of December, which is about three weeks ago. One would imagine that this cumulative number of cases would have resulted in more deaths by now, should the death rate from Covid-19 be the same now as it was a month ago. The surge is not on the wane yet, by all indications, and it will be some time before one can say with any certainty that the death rate from Covid-19 is changing in Los Angeles County. But the relatively low number of current hospitalizations and the flat average number of daily deaths in the face of staggeringly high case numbers could be looked at optimistically.