Los Angeles County continues to see a decline in COVID-19-related hospitalizations since last month but health officials continue to report dozens of deaths daily.
While it accounts for only a quarter of the state’s population, the county reported nearly 49% of all confirmed deaths in California on Saturday, according to county and state data. The death toll was 4,967 as officials confirmed 51 additional deaths and 2,645 new infections.
Right now, 1,610 people are hospitalized for COVID-19, marking a significant drop from an all-time high of more than 2,200 hospitalizations the county saw last month. Officials say 31% of hospitalized patients are being treated at the ICU.
With 206,761cases since the beginning of the pandemic, LA County currently has about 38% of the 545,787 reported infections in California, according to health officials. But officials have warned that some of the figures are misleading due to problems with the state’s electronic reporting system.
The California Department of Public Health said in a tweet Saturday that the current data “represents a report missing actual positive cases for a day.”
However, hospitalizations and deaths were not affected, LA County health officials said.
The county health department says the state will send back backlog lab reports in the coming days.
Mortality remains highest among communities with the highest poverty rates, a problem local officials have tried to address by setting up testing centers in high-risk areas. more like Boyle Heights.
Race differences also continued to be seen in mortality rates across the county.
While the current overall mortality rate is 45 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Latinos have a much higher mortality rate with 68 deaths per 100,000 people. For black residents, the death rate was 54 per 100,000 residents while it was 35 for Asian residents and 26 for white residents.
Last month, Community Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Latino residents were twice as likely to get the virus. Governor Gavin Newsom and other government officials have attributed higher infection and mortality rates among Latinos, in part because they make up the bulk of the workforce in some essential jobs.
Federal officials have stressed that the greater impact of the virus on some groups is not genetics but on social conditions such as work and housing, according to the Associated Press.
“Just name the racial and ethnic groups without contextualizing what contributes to the potential risk of stigma and becoming victimized,” said Leandris Liburd, director of health equity, in response to Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s coronavirus, told the AP.