Local Data Shows that COVID-19 Continues to Significantly Impact People 65+; Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Recommended

With the start of fall, and the possibility of increases in circulating respiratory viruses, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) recommends that everyone who is eligible receives the updated COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccines, especially those who are at elevated risk for severe illness or death from a COVID and/or influenza infection.

Protection from the new COVID-19 vaccine has been shown in studies to provide a boost to the immune system and reduce severe illness for those infected; this protection will be beneficial through the fall and winter months when it is easier to get exposed to COVID-19 as many activities move indoors and there is increased travel and gatherings for the holidays.

In each of the past three winters, we have seen a substantial increase in COVID cases, hospitalizations and tragically, deaths. Last winter, comparing Nov. 1 to Jan. 1, hospitalizations tripled and deaths quadrupled.

With COVID-19 rates also expected to rise this winter, it is especially important for people in groups that have experienced more illness severity to take advantage of the easy access to the updated COVID vaccines. In Los Angeles County, data shows that certain groups of people are more vulnerable for severe illness from COVID-19 and this continues to be true, especially for older people and Black and Brown residents.

While hospitalization and death rates have been lower this year compared to this time last year, there are still significant numbers of people who are hospitalized and who, tragically, pass away.

Over the 90-day period ending Sept. 4, the COVID hospitalization rate among people 65 and older was 10 times higher than the hospitalization rate among people younger than 65. Within the 65+ group, residents 80 and over are at particularly high risk, with a hospitalization rate that was more than double the rate for those ages 65-79.  For the same time period, the COVID death rate among people 65 and older was 30 times higher than the death rate among people younger than 65, again with residents 80+ at the highest risk.

Overall, looking at the past 90 days in Los Angeles County, people who were not vaccinated against COVID-19 were three times more likely to be hospitalized and four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated.

While the vaccine will benefit everyone, it is especially important for people with higher risk for poor outcomes if infected with COVID-19 to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. Each day, more and more sites around Los Angeles County are receiving their doses and we expect that more than 1,000 unique vaccination sites in Los Angeles County will have the updated vaccine over the next few weeks.  Of these sites, over 400 will offer vaccines under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Bridge Access Program for people who are uninsured or underinsured, including at all Public Health vaccination sites. For people with health insurance plans, there should be no out-of-pocket costs although some residents may need to get vaccinated at a network provider site to avoid any costs.

A full list of vaccine sites can be found a ph.lacounty.gov/vaccines by clicking the links under the ‘Get Vaccinated’ section of the site.

For parents looking to get vaccine protection for their kids, there are 337 Vaccine for Children Sites active in the county, offering the COVID-19 vaccine for children, as well as other childhood vaccines, free of charge. Parents can visit bit.ly/VaccineForChildrenSites to find a location that is convenient for them.

Residents 6 months and older should receive at least one dose of the updated vaccine. To maximize protection, it is recommended that a person wait two months since their last dose if they have been recently vaccinated against COVID-19, and they can wait up to three months after a COVID infection. For children under 5 years old or people who are immunocompromised, Public Health recommends speaking to a provider about the most effective timing and dosing for the updated COVID-19 vaccine; multiple doses of the updated vaccine may be recommended.

Information is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., from the Public Health Call Center at 1-833-540-0473. This free service is available to answer questions about COVID-19 and the updated vaccine. Callers can also get help finding sites with available vaccine, scheduling appointments or arranging a free homebound vaccine appointment.

In Los Angeles County, based on data through Sept. 16, the CDC Hospital Admission Level is 6.7, lower than the week before.

COVID-19 strains currently circulating in Los Angeles County are all descendants of the Omicron variant and more than 95 percent are descendants of the Omicron XBB strain. For the most recent two-week period ending Sept. 2,  EG.5 was the dominant strain, accounting for 31 percent of sequenced specimens. The second most dominant strain was XBB.1.16, accounting for 10 percent of sequenced specimens, followed by XBB.2.3, accounting for 9 percent of sequenced specimens.

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 do not include Long Beach and Pasadena; daily average deaths include Long Beach and Pasadena.

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

  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:



  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Spanish:


Cases through 12:00pm 9/25/2023


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