Inland Empire struggles with high hospitalization rates

by Steven Felschundneff |

The summer surge of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County continues to decline with just over 1,000 people currently hospitalized with the virus.

On Wednesday the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 1,018 county residents currently hospitalized, down from nearly 1,700 in the middle of August.

The county is reporting 1,750 new cases, which is also down significantly from the August peak near 3,500. Deaths are occurring among much younger people than during the winter surge, mostly because of the high vaccination rate for people over 65. Of the 41 deaths reported Wednesday, nine were over 80 and 12 were between the ages of 65 and 79. Fifteen deaths were among people under 64 years including six between 30 and 54.

While coastal counties are experiencing declines in the summer COVID surge, inland counties are still dealing with high numbers of infections and hospitalizations, according to data published in the Los Angeles Times.

The Inland Empire hit a peak on September 1 with 1,246 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That equals a rate of 28 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, compared with 18 per 100,000 people in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties during the peak around August 15. Part of the reason the Inland Empire continues to grapple with a severe outbreak lies in its low vaccination rate with just 47.2% of the population in San Bernardino County fully vaccinated and 50.4% in Riverside.


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