Both case rates and mortality rates in Los Angeles County have dropped sharply over the last two weeks (see graphs below).
We saw the highest incident case rate the week ending December 22nd, 2020 (the County reports to the State on Tuesdays, so the “week end” is a Tuesday) at 137.7 new daily cases per 100,000 population. For the week ending this Tuesday, that rate has plummeted to 81.4.
A similar trend is seen in mortality rates (remember: more cases lead to more hospitalizations which lead to more deaths). A maximum mortality rate was seen the week ending January 5th, 2021 (also remember deaths will lag by 2-3 weeks from a case peak) of 1.34 daily deaths per 100,000 population. We now have 0.23 daily deaths per 100,000 population in Los Angeles County.
The magnitude of the drop offs is striking, and hopeful. However, I suspect that there is an element of delayed reporting as well – perhaps from the recent holiday or from the Health Department now being occupied with a vaccine rollout.
Until next week’s numbers, lets keep an eye on the raw values reported today: 81.4 case rate, 0.23 mortality rate for the week ending 1/19/2021. Let’s see if these revise upwards in the weeks ahead.
Also I have additional concerns about the B.1.1.7 variant for both case rates (more infectious/transmissible) and mortality rates (information from the UK today suggest that is may be more lethal as well). More on this tomorrow…