Highly Infectious BA.2 Subvariant Increasing in LA County, Accounting for 32% of All Specimens Sequenced

784 New Positive Cases and 16 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

As the highly infectious BA.2 subvariant increases in LA County and other parts of the world, residents should continue to follow all safety protections, especially residents and workers at elevated risk of severe illness.

For the latest measurement period, the week ending March 12, 32% of all sequenced specimens in LA County were identified as the BA.2 subvariant, double the percentage identified for the week prior ending March 5.

Increases in LA County reflect patterns seen around the world, with the World Health Organization announcing last week that worldwide, BA.2 accounted for 86% of sequenced cases from the prior 4 weeks. And on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that BA.2 is now the dominant variant in the U.S., accounting for approximately 55% of sequenced cases for the week ending March 26.

While there are not yet increases in cases or hospitalizations in LA County, given the increased risk for spread of BA.2, it’s important to take steps to maximize protection against spread, including increasing vaccination and booster rates for residents, as these gaps in vaccination coverage create significant risk.

As of March 27, 83% of LA County residents ages five and older had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 75% were fully vaccinated. Additionally, 57% of eligible residents ages 12 and older received the additional protection of a booster. This leaves about 2.6 million booster-dose eligible residents not benefiting from the extra protection of a booster dose and 1.7 million eligible residents needing to get their first vaccination.

If residents cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons or because their body can’t mount an appropriate immune response to vaccines, they may still be able to be protected with COVID therapeutics. Residents should ask their provider if they’re eligible to receive Evusheld, a new therapeutic for people 12 years and older that can prevent COVID-19. There are also several therapeutics available that can reduce severe illness for people who have been infected with COVID-19. If residents test positive, they should check immediately with their provider whether they are eligible to receive one of these treatments. Residents who don’t have a doctor can call the COVID-19 information line at 833-540-0473, 8:00 am – 8:30 pm daily for more information. Note that the monoclonal antibody medicine Sotrovimab is no longer authorized for use in California due to studies showing less efficacy against BA.2.

Residents can also stock up on the over-the-counter COVID test kits that they can administer themselves at home.  Up to two sets of four at home tests can be ordered at no charge from the federal government at www.covidtests.gov. Residents who have health insurance can receive eight free at home tests each month for each insured member in their household.  Individuals can also get tested at one of the many free testing sites located throughout the County. Visit www.ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests for information and links to testing sites.  Individuals should get tested if they feel sick, have an exposure, or are gathering with others at elevated risk.

Individuals should also continue to wear a mask indoors in public places, especially if they, or others they will be in contact with, are not fully vaccinated, elderly, immunocompromised, or have serious underlying health conditions. Masking is one of the easiest and most effective strategies for protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19.

“We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one from COVID,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We’re about two months out from the peak of our winter surge and have seen significant declines in our cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.  However, with case numbers no longer decreasing and increases in the circulation of the more infectious BA.2 subvariant in LA County, now is the time for us to use the tools at hand to decrease both personal and community risk: vaccination, testing, masking and therapeutics. In a similar way that we take steps to be prepared for fires and earthquakes, we now also need to take preparedness actions that allow us to be safe during a pandemic. And just like we don’t wait until there is a fire or an earthquake to make a plan, we don’t need to wait until we are experiencing another surge, to increase our protection.  Get vaccinated and boosted, have a supply of test kits, talk to your provider about eligibility for new therapeutics, and wear a well-fitting, high filtration mask in places where the risk for transmission is elevated.”  

Today, Public Health reported 16 additional deaths, and 784 new positive cases of COVID-19. Of the 16 new deaths reported today, one person was between the ages of 30-49, four were between the ages of 65-79, and eight were aged 80 years or older. Of the16 newly reported deaths, 11 people had underlying health conditions. Information on the three deaths reported by the City of Pasadena is available at www.CityofPasadena.net. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 31,669.

Public Health has reported a total of 2,833,206 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Note that 127 additional cases have been added to the cumulative total of positive cases due to a backlog of cases from the surge. Today’s positivity rate is 1.1%.

There are 308 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,689,300 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.

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 http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov including:

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

For more information:

Cases through 12:00pm 3/30/2022 
Total Cases
Laboratory Confirmed Cases2,833,206
— Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas)*2,679,471
— Long Beach125,634
— Pasadena28,101
— Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas)29,996
— Long Beach1,261
— Pasadena412
Age Group (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 
– 0 to 482392
– 5 to 11238542
– 12 to 17233046
– 18 to 29596535
– 30 to 49854531
– 50 to 64443791
– 65 to 79172379
–  over 8056157
–  Under Investigation2098
Gender (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 
–  Female1362505
–  Male1241914
–  Other1028
–  Under Investigation74024
Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 
–  American Indian/Alaska Native4917
–  Asian163954
–  Black134365
–  Hispanic/Latino1225584
–  Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander13589
–  White343820
–  Other297681
–  Under Investigation495561
Hospitalization (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 
–  Hospitalized (Ever)135,948
Deaths Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas) 
–  American Indian/Alaska Native73
–  Asian3748
–  Black2771
–  Hispanic/Latino15448
–  Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander111
–  White7440
–  Other310
–  Under Investigation95
City of Agoura Hills4156
City of Alhambra16809
City of Arcadia7981
City of Artesia4149
City of Avalon62
City of Azusa13675
City of Baldwin Park22816
City of Bell13814
City of Bell Gardens14117
City of Bellflower23231
City of Beverly Hills8266
City of Bradbury65
City of Burbank22137
City of Calabasas3927
City of Carson25384
City of Cerritos8347
City of Claremont6584
City of Commerce*4507
City of Compton33017
City of Covina14617
City of Cudahy9983
City of Culver City7341
City of Diamond Bar9104
City of Downey35756
City of Duarte5143
City of El Monte32888
City of El Segundo2758
City of Gardena16152
City of Glendale44144
City of Glendora11717
City of Hawaiian Gardens4161
City of Hawthorne22454
City of Hermosa Beach3278
City of Hidden Hills259
City of Huntington Park21958
City of Industry397
City of Inglewood29220
City of Irwindale534
City of La Canada Flintridge2846
City of La Habra Heights162
City of La Mirada10388
City of La Puente12641
City of La Verne7033
City of Lakewood18859
City of Lancaster*50666
City of Lawndale8048
City of Lomita4260
City of Lynwood*24714
City of Malibu2082
City of Manhattan Beach4909
City of Maywood10532
City of Monrovia8209
City of Montebello19142
City of Monterey Park11441
City of Norwalk33098
City of Palmdale52795
City of Palos Verdes Estates1496
City of Paramount18876
City of Pico Rivera20899
City of Pomona51810
City of Rancho Palos Verdes4837
City of Redondo Beach9907
City of Rolling Hills187
City of Rolling Hills Estates982
City of Rosemead10738
City of San Dimas*8019
City of San Fernando10400
City of San Gabriel7544
City of San Marino1409
City of Santa Clarita53713
City of Santa Fe Springs6335
City of Santa Monica16914
City of Sierra Madre1517
City of Signal Hill2826
City of South El Monte6553
City of South Gate38264
City of South Pasadena3965
City of Temple City6160
City of Torrance22641
City of Vernon308
City of Walnut4844
City of West Covina29121
City of West Hollywood7917
City of Westlake Village273
City of Whittier23610
Los Angeles1166399
Los Angeles – Adams-Normandie2599
Los Angeles – Alsace3527
Los Angeles – Angeles National Forest6
Los Angeles – Angelino Heights624
Los Angeles – Arleta13589
Los Angeles – Atwater Village3511
Los Angeles – Baldwin Hills7421
Los Angeles – Bel Air1463
Los Angeles – Beverly Crest2327
Los Angeles – Beverlywood2999
Los Angeles – Boyle Heights*33177
Los Angeles – Brentwood5472
Los Angeles – Brookside94
Los Angeles – Cadillac-Corning1821
Los Angeles – Canoga Park20013

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: