COVID Hospitalizations Quadruple Pediatric Cases Spike Across LA LOS ANGELES, CA — As the Delta variant fuels Los Angeles County’s surge in coronavirus cases, health officials are seeing a spike in hospitalizations and in pediatric cases with children representing a larger share of cases than they did a year ago.
Unable to get vaccinated, 1.3 million children in the county remain vulnerable to COVID-19. Pediatric COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County grew by five times in July, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Coronavirus hospitalizations among children four years old and younger doubled over the last month, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reported.
In the two-week period leading up to July 18, 338 LA County children under 18 tested positive for the virus compared to just 63 cases in the two-week period a month earlier. The troubling trend in Los Angeles mirrors the national trend. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children make up more than a fifth of new cases nationwide up from less than 5 percent last summer.
On Monday, county health officials reported 2,361 new cases of COVID-19, and the number of people hospitalized with the virus has nearly quadrupled since last month. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Los Angeles County is 1,096, compared with 280 people who were hospitalized a month ago on July 2, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The vast majority of hospitalizations are unvaccinated people. State reports show that there are 264 people in Los Angeles County intensive care units, 20 more than Sunday.
The new infections brought the county’s total from throughout the pandemic to 1,305,704. The additional five deaths raised the county’s death toll of 24,690.
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The county has been experiencing sharp increases in daily case numbers, hospitalizations and test-positivity rates over the past several weeks, with the increases attributed to the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 6.2% as of Monday, down from the 6.3% rate reported Friday. By comparison, that percentage was 1.3% on July 2.
From Jan. 1 through June 30, 99.8% of the people who have died from COVID-19 were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
While the pace of vaccinations has slowed significantly, Ferrer said the county has now seen two consecutive weeks of small increases in the number of people receiving a first dose. Between July 19 and 25, about 70,000 doses were administered in the county, up about 7,500 from the previous week.
Of the county’s 10.3 million residents, 60% have received at least one dose, and 52% are fully vaccinated. Roughly 1.3 million residents under age 12 remain ineligible for the vaccine.
There are 772 county sites offering vaccinations this week, including pharmacies, clinics, community sites and hospitals and 312 sites where mobile teams are offering vaccinations, which are concentrated in higher-need, harder hit areas.
“Vaccinations are widely available throughout L.A. County and are free of charge to anyone, regardless of their country of origin or immigration status,” Ferrer said.