COVID Update: Wednesday, June 2

Former Councilmember John Duran has been doing daily COVID updates on his Facebook page since March 2020. Many members of the community have found them helpful. They are republished here with his permission.

LA County Cases1,246,821(up from 1,246,619)
LA County Deaths24,421(up from 24,416)
LA Positivity Rate.4%(unchanged at .4%)
LA Hospitalizations216(up from 218)

108 new COVID Cases announced in LA County yesterday along with 3 additional deaths. Yes. Only 3. Positivity rate remains low at less than half of one percent. Hospitalizations remain low and stable.

CALIFORNIA’S RED COUNTIES CONTINUE TO FEEL PAIN

Front page of the LA Times this morning leads with the story “State’s Rural North Lags on Shots”. Some rural counties in Northern CA are falling further behind in vaccination rates causes caseloads to either remain flat or increase. Meanwhile, Southern CA and the Bay Area have high vaccination rates and lower daily case rates.

In San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Marin counties – 67% of residents have received at least one shot. But places like Shasta County only have 36% of residents receiving at least one shot. Tehama and Siskiyou counties are identified by the CDC as having a “high” virus transmission rate. Only 27% of Tehama County have received a vaccine shot. They have the worst case rates of all the CA counties reporting about 20 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. One month ago, they were reporting 8 cases per day per 100,000 residents. So their cases have more than doubled.

Lassen County has only about 22% of their residents vaccinated. They are now reporting 7 daily cases per 100,000 residents. One month ago, they were reporting 3 cases per 100,000 residents. Their numbers have more than doubled also.

Humboldt county is reporting 18 cases per 100,000 in mid May. Back in early April, they were reporting 2 cases per 100,000. So their case loads have exploded. Shasta County has been unable to reduce their case load for months. One month ago they were at 8 cases per 100,000. By mid May their numbers almost doubled to 14 per 100,000.

Now compare all those numbers to the cases per 100,000 in Southern California: Orange County .9 cases per day. Ventura 1.4 cases per day. San Diego 2.3 per day. Los Angeles 1.9 per day. Southern CA has 2/3 of the State’s population. And we are clearly in a different place than the Northern CA counties.

Much of the vaccine hesitancy is field by a distrust of health officials, politicians and scientists (thanks Donald). Misinformation about the vaccine’s costs, efficacy and side effects has spread across social media. Health officials are having to knock down conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. Shasta County is having to deal with a threatened recall of 3 members of their Board of Supervisors who supported the Governor’s pandemic health orders.

Surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation have shown that Republicans and rural residents are among the least enthusiastic groups in the US when it comes to getting vaccinated. 26% of rural residents and 28% of Republicans say they will definitely not got the vaccine or will get it only if it is required. By comparison, the same attitudes an be found in 15% of urban residents, 19% of suburban residents, 20% of Independent voters and 7% of Democratic voters.

Without increasing vaccination rates, the epidemic will continue to smolder lingering around until new mutant strains show up to help spread contagion once again.

EUPHORIC STATE ECONOMIC REBOUND PREDICTED

The Business Section of the LA Times is predicting that CA’s economy will recover faster than the Nation (according to a UCLA forecast). The Golden State’s strong technology and white collar business sectors (along with a boost in home building) will buoy our economy offsetting a slower return of tourism dependent leisure and hospitality jobs.

Economist Leo Feler at the UCLA Anderson school is predicting the biggest boom economy since World War II. And as California goes, so goes the Nation. 3/4 of our job losses during the pandemic were in sectors with high degree of human contact (leisure, hospitality, education, retail, hairdressing, auto repair). But given our current high vaccination rates and low infection rates, it is expected that most of these jobs will return.

The sectors that depend on international tourism will continue to lag, particularly hotel and restaurants. Fewer visitors into LAX also impacts Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers. Some bars, eateries and retailers may take a “wait and see” approach before staffing up. And movie theaters and other entertainment venues may hesitate on rehiring until demand resumes.

Sound like a Boom is coming. But with some degrees of caution waiting until there is more certainty in the economy…..

77 degrees and Sunny in LA today. Enjoy hump day !

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About John Duran
John Duran, a criminal defense lawyer, served on the West Hollywood City Council for 20 years, 2001-2020.

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