Cases among young adults have increased steeply in the past 6 weeks and that age group is “now driving infections in L.A. County,” according to Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer. Ferrer made the statement at her regular coronavirus press conference.
Adults ages 18-29 now have the highest case rates per 100,000 people of any demographic, at just over 25, she said. Children between 0 and 4 years old now have the second-highest case rate per 100,000 people, at just over 20.
Ferrer said those two age groups have seen “explosive growth” in the past 6 weeks. They now account for close to 70 percent of all new cases.
While the numbers of adults ages 18-29 who are hospitalized is still low, it is growing, now accounting 9-10 percent of all hospitalizations.
Asked about the reason for the rapid increase among young people, Ferrer pointed to social gatherings. “Those remain an easy place for transmission, especially inside,” for young people, she said. “We have example after example after example.”
Ferrer said she understands that young people are tired of being isolated and, with bars closed, are trying to figure out a way to be social.
Ferrer was not a fan of their solutions, however. “I say: You’re figuring it out on the backs of other people.”
Another reason, said Ferrer, is young people are being infected at gatherings and then taking COVID with them to work. “They’re taking infections into workplaces,” she said.
On Wednesday, the county reported 58 new deaths due to the virus, for a total of 5,109.
There were 2,428 new cases reported, including close to 700 cases from the backlog due to the state’s recent reporting system errors.
Ferrer said that, thus far, 10 percent of those tested have been positive.
Hospitalizations due to coronavirus and ICU patients with COVID-19 continue to trend downward.
Earlier in the day, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state was reporting 11,645 new cases over the past 24 hours. That includes 6,212 backlogged cases.
Newsom said over the next 72 hours the much talked about backlogged numbers of new cases would be backdated to the appropriate dates.
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 were down about 19 percent over the past 14 days. ICU admissions related to coronavirus were down 16 percent over the same period.
Los Angeles County said Tuesday that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the region has eclipsed 5,000. The grim milestone came as 63 new deaths from the virus were registered.
The agency also recorded 1,440 confirmed new cases on Tuesday. That was down from Monday’s reported 1,920 new cases; the figures however still lacked backlogged data thanks to a statewide glitch reported last week that has resulted in under-reported totals as far back as two weeks.