Health officials on Thursday highlighted ten areas of Los Angeles County that have become COVID-19 “hot spots” in recent weeks amid lingering concerns about the region likely to see another wave of the winter virus.
Lancaster, Palmdale, Studio City, Santa Clarita, Venice, Downtown Los Angeles, the Wholesale District, Willowbrook, West Hills and Stevenson Ranch were all areas chosen to have high rates of coronavirus cases.
Data collected between October 24 and November 5 revealed that Lancaster, Palmdale, downtown LA, the Wholesale District and Willowbrook in particular not only had high 14-day infection rates, but also very high cumulative case rates, said Barbara Ferrer, LA County health director. said during a press briefing.
“The fact that these communities are currently hotspots for transmission suggests that even high past infection rates are not enough to protect them from these current waves of infection,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer said there was not a common problem in the ten of those communities that the Department of Health could blame for the high case rates.
Three of the “hotspots” had below average COVID-19 vaccination rates, but others had “really decent” vaccination coverage, Ferrer said.
Vaccination rates in Lancaster (58%), Palmdale (66%) and Willowbrook (62%) were lower than the county rate.
But that was not the case in Studio City, Santa Clarita, the Wholesale District, downtown LA, Venice, West Hills, and Stevenson Ranch, all of which had vaccination rates of 75% or more.
This does not mean that vaccination rates are not a factor.
“If you are not vaccinated you are at a much higher risk of getting infected, ending up in hospital and tragically dying. So it’s crystal clear, ”Ferrer said.
The Department of Health is still trying to find out why these ten communities have become “hot spots”.
Only a very small number of cities have experienced recent outbreaks, and there was no discernible pattern, Ferrer said.
A common theme emerged: the median age of people who recently tested positive in these communities was between 26 and 36 years old.
“Given the relatively young age of many of those infected, the mix at work and socially is likely to play a role in increasing your risk of transmission,” the health director said.
“This is basically a pandemic which is, in fact, fueled by younger people,” she added.
Still, Ferrer said there was a message for everyone in the county, not just the young residents.
“Whoever you are and wherever you live, whether you live in a community with a high vaccination rate or a lower vaccination rate, the most important thing is that you, as a person, are going to have to do is to get vaccinated, to get vaccinated. people you love have been vaccinated, then be careful about mixing precautions, ”she told LA County residents.
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