COVID-19 cases continue to fall in L.A. County

Vaccine distributions may reveal racial disparities.

Natalie Willis, News Editor

After a surge in COVID-19 cases over the holidays, hospitalizations and deaths in Los Angeles county continue to decline. Healthcare workers and senior residents are actively receiving vaccinations in Phases 1A and part of 1B, however, local health officials believe there may be a racial disparity in vaccine distributions. 

DOWNWARD TREND

On Feb. 21, L.A. County reported 1,465 new coronavirus cases. Since the pandemic began, the county has reported over 1.1 million cases and is approaching 20,000 deaths. 

Additionally, COVID-19 patient hospitalizations have gone down 41% over the last two weeks as reported Saturday.

While there has been a general downward trend in COVID-19 cases throughout California, a new variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 called CAL.20C has accounted for roughly 44% of samples in Southern California. 

On Feb. 21, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor on COVID-19, spoke on the many variants of the coronavirus on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and cautioned that while cases are steadily decreasing, the baseline for infections is still very high. 

VACCINE ROLLOUT 

According to the L.A. County public health department COVID-19 has disproportionately affected low-income residents and people of color with the death rate of low resource areas being four times higher than those in highest-resourced areas. 

The figures released by the county’s health department shows that nearly 43% of white senior residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine while less than 25% of Black residents and 29% of Latino seniors have received the shot. To address this issue, the county is reserving more appointments and increasing vaccination sites in underserved areas. 

Graph by Natalie Willis
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