Despite Recent Rise In COVID-19 Transmission in Los Angeles County, Hospitalization, Death Rates Remain Relatively Stable

As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) continues to monitor indicators of COVID-19, there is evidence of small increases in transmission while hospitalizations and deaths remain relatively stable, likely reflecting built-up protection against severe illness from COVID-19.

Reported cases and wastewater data provide evidence that COVID-19 is circulating in Los Angeles County at somewhat higher levels than seen earlier this summer. However, this small uptick in transmission is not yet driving significantly greater numbers of new hospitalizations or deaths.

Cases have increased more than 35 percent compared to two weeks ago. Nonetheless, in comparison to case counts last July, cases this July are on average 96 percent lower. While helpful to indicate larger trends, case counts are an undercount of the actual number of infections due to the large number of at-home COVID test results that are not reported to Public Health.

Wastewater concentrations of SARS CoV-2, the virus that results in a COVID-19 infection, are at 16 percent of the most recent winter peak for the week ending July 15, double the 8 percent that was reported two weeks ago, yet still of low concern. Looking at wastewater concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 provides information about transmission levels and is not dependent on cases reported or captured through testing.

The percentage of Emergency Department encounters classified as COVID-19 related is 2.7%, a nominal increase from 2.4% reported two weeks ago and the daily average number of COVID-positive hospitalizations is 228, a very small increase from 213 reported two weeks ago. The daily average for COVID-19 deaths is 2.6, slightly less than a daily average of 3.4 deaths two weeks prior.

In alignment with the state of California, Los Angeles County has begun counting and reporting only deaths where COVID-19 is coded on the death certificate as the cause of death or a contributing factor. This new definition for categorizing deaths is being applied to all deaths with a date of death on July 1, 2023, or later. Updating the definitions associated with deaths caused by specific diseases is a normal part of disease surveillance, reflecting both changes in the evolution of the disease and resource constraints.

Los Angeles County will also monitor and report three additional indicators of COVID-19 mortality to maximize the ability to detect changes in mortality trends.

First, Public Health will report on the percentage of all Los Angeles County deaths that are due to COVID-19. This provides a measure of the relative burden of COVID on overall mortality in Los Angeles County and captures changes in the impact of COVID over time.

Second, Public Health will track the number of deaths that don’t have COVID-19 listed on the death certificate yet were reported by a medical provider as COVID-associated.  This will capture additional deaths likely associated with COVID that may be under-reported on death certificates.

Last, regular updates will be provided by Public Health on the leading causes of death in Los Angeles County. In 2022, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death, behind coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Based on death numbers to date, we anticipate a significant decrease in the ranking of COVID-19 this year. This will capture the contribution of COVID to resident mortality rates and can inform response actions and resource allocations.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to those who are grieving a loved one due to COVID-19, and hope that you are surrounded by strength, compassion and caring during this difficult time,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Looking at the current patterns we are seeing between cases, hospitalizations, and deaths provides evidence that built-up immunity, through vaccination and prior infections, is likely leading to greater resilience against severe illness. With vaccines and therapeutics remaining effective against the circulating strains of COVID-19, we can take comfort knowing that COVID is now something we can manage.”

For residents who are concerned that they or a loved one have been exposed to COVID-19 or are seeking resources for increased protection, many options remain available in Los Angeles County. The Public Health Call Center is open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The free service will connect callers with a person who can answer their questions, coordinate free telehealth care to receive COVID-19 treatment, and help make a vaccination appointment, including for people who are homebound. The number is 1-833-540-0473.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has replaced COVID-19 Community Levels with Hospital Admission Levels, which can help individuals and communities decide which prevention actions they can take based on the most recent information. Los Angeles County is in the Low Hospital Admission Level with 2.7 weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people, reported on July 24 for the seven-day period ending July 25.

Public Health reports COVID-19 data weekly. The following table shows case, wastewater, emergency department, hospitalization, and death data in Los Angeles County over the past four weeks.


Date of Weekly Report





Daily average cases





SARS-CoV-2 wastewater concentration as a percentage of the Winter 2022-2023 peak concentration value





Daily average of the percent of Emergency Department (ED) encounters classified as coronavirus-related





Daily average number of COVID-positive hospitalizations





Daily average deaths





Percent of all deaths due to COVID-19





All daily averages are 7-day averages. Data for past weeks are subject to change in future reports. Time periods covered by each metric: cases = week ending each Saturday; wastewater = week ending each Saturday, with a one-week lag; ED data = week ending each Sunday; hospitalizations = week ending each Saturday; deaths = week ending each Monday, with a three-week lag; death percentage = week ending Monday, with a one-week lag.

Case data is presented by episode date, an approximation of the date the illness began, and death data is presented by date of death. This is a change from how case and death data were presented prior to July 26, 2023, which was by date of report. Daily average cases and deaths do not include Long Beach and Pasadena.

Public Health will now report case and death counts by episode date and date of death, a change from previously reported weekly counts that represented the number of cases and deaths newly confirmed as COVID-associated for the particular week.

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at including:

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:

Cases through 12:00pm 7/24/2023


Total Cases

Laboratory Confirmed Cases (includes LB and Pas through 6/27/23; excludes LB and Pas after 6/27/23)


Deaths (includes LB and Pas)


Cases by Age Group (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

– 0 to 4


– 5 to 11


– 12 to 17


– 18 to 29


– 30 to 49


– 50 to 64


– 65 to 79


–  over 80


–  Under Investigation


Cases by Gender (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  Female


–  Male


–  Other


–  Under Investigation


Cases by Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  American Indian/Alaska Native


–  Asian


–  Black


–  Hispanic/Latino


–  Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander


–  White


–  Other


–  Under Investigation


Hospitalization (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  Hospitalized (Ever)


Deaths by Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  American Indian/Alaska Native


–  Asian


–  Black


–  Hispanic/Latino


–  Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander


–  White


–  Other


–  Under Investigation