Nearly 60% of New COVID-19 Cases Occur in Residents Between 18 and 49 Years Old
LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 68 new deaths and 2,347 new cases of COVID-19. Residents between the ages of 18 and 49 years old makeup nearly 60% of new COVID-19 cases, with residents between the ages of 30 to 49 years old driving most of these reported cases.
Residents between the ages of 30 and 49 years old have the highest case rate among all age groups in LA County. Since the beginning of June, case rates for this group nearly tripled to a high of 1,122 cases per 100,000 population on July 24.
Younger residents are also being hospitalized more than before. People between the ages of 30 and 49 years old account for 25% of hospitalized patients in the County. Patients between the ages of 18 and 29 years old now account for more than twice the proportion of all hospitalizations than they did in April. These patients now match the hospitalization rate of people aged 80 years old or older. By comparison, hospitalizations of those 80 years old or older have fallen by half since a peak in April.
There are 1,768 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 31% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU. This continues to be lower than the daily hospitalizations of over 2,000 patients reported last week.
To date, Public Health has identified 197,912 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 4,825 deaths. The majority of all cases have occurred among people between the ages of 18 and 49 years old with over 109,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Public Health anticipates receiving a backlog of cases once the State electronic laboratory system issues are fixed. This issue has undercounted the County’s positive cases and affects the number of COVID-19 cases reported each day and our contact tracing efforts. Data sources that track other key indicators, including hospitalizations and deaths, are not affected by this reporting issue.
Of the 68 new deaths, 23 people that passed away (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were over the age of 80 years old, 24 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 17 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Fifty-two people had underlying health conditions including 17 people over the age of 80 years old, 20 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 13 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and two people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, One death was reported by the City of Pasadena.
Ninety-two percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 4,520 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 49% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 15% among Asian residents, 11% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, 49 cases and one death reported earlier were not LA County residents.
Testing results are available for over 1,839,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to all those grieving for their loved ones lost to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D., MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We all know that COVID-19 can affect all of us, no matter how young we are. It can also cause a ripple effect that ends up infecting those among us that we love. A young person going to a party can then go back home and infect their parents or older relatives, causing them great harm. So I really encourage everyone, especially younger adults to think about this when deciding whether to see a group of friends at a party or staying home and visiting their friends virtually. We can and will one day get to the point where hanging out with a group of friends is possible – but we aren’t there yet.”
The State is expected to soon release information on when colleges and universities can re-open for in-classroom instruction. In the interim, Public Health released a comprehensive set of draft protocols to guide colleges and universities with planning activities toward the eventual return to in-person instruction. The protocols touch on all aspects of campus life, from on-campus housing to classrooms, to the dining commons. This includes infection control practices, like regular sanitizing of common spaces, consistent use of face coverings in all areas of the campus, and the reconfiguration of campus spaces, including dorms to enable physical distancing. Like other workplaces, they will have to screen their employees and students for COVID-19 and quickly notify the department when clusters of cases occur to help stop the chain of transmission. Because college and university campuses exist in the middle of larger communities, significant attention needs to be paid to steps that institutions take to protect community residents from exposures that originate on campus; this includes good communications, support for community mitigation strategies, and minimizing risky actions.
The State announced the reopening of youth sports earlier this week and released its guidance for the safe operation of youth sports leagues. Youth sports and physical education are permitted only outdoors, and tournaments, events, and competitions are not allowed. The physical distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained at all times and for sports that require closer contact, only conditioning and skill-building are permitted. Masks are not required when outside engaging in activities that require physical exertion. Adult, amateur team sports are not permitted at this time.
Yesterday, Public Health announced that it will adhere to new guidance from the California Department of Public Health, which recommends that Counties with case rates at or above 200 cases per 100,000 residents do not extend waivers for the re-opening of classroom instruction for students in grades TK- 6. Because Los Angeles County’s case rate currently is 330 per 100,000, waiver applications will not be considered at this point in time.
Given the current delays, the department urges any person with a positive lab result to call 1-833-540-0473 to connect with a public health specialist who can provide information about services and support. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.