One week after Los Angeles lifted its last Kavid ban, LA officials are warning of the spread of a more contagious BA.2 variant, an increase in cases and an increase in school and religious holidays.
“Although outbreaks are low in many sectors, the county public health department warned Friday that” gatherings for Ramadan, Passover, Easter and Spring Break could eventually lead to more cases and outbreaks. “
Indeed, the positivity of the 7-day test has increased by 50% since Tuesday, from 0.8% to 1.2% today. This type of jump is noticeable on a 7-day average, although the percentage is still relatively low.
The case has escalated even more. On Tuesday, LA County reported 708 new cases. Today, the number has risen 78% to 1,263 new cases, up from 1,088 yesterday.
According to a LADPH statement, “this increase in cases is probably due to the more easily transmitted BA.2 subvariate, which continues to grow in LA County”.
The number of new cases in the county has risen sharply this week, despite the declining number of daily tests. This is usually a strong indication of an increase in infection across a region. Last Friday, the county was testing about 110,000 people every 24 hours. Today, that number has dropped to just 90,000 tests a day.
The good news is, even with the growing number of cases and positive numbers of tests, the new variant and the recently revoked ban show no signs of increasing hospitalizations and deaths.
Meanwhile, the BA.2 Omicron variant – which was previously thought to be 10% more transmissible than the more transmissible original Omicron – has become dominant in the region. City officials reported Thursday that BA.2 represented 47% of all county cases that underwent special tests to identify covid variants, but said the percentage was probably higher because the data reflected events from two weeks earlier. More recent CDC data backups.
The Centre’s Alternative Ratio Observation Dashboard this week showed that in three-state territories consisting of California, Nevada and Arizona, BA.2 is now responsible for 75% of all genomically sequenced tests to determine a causal variant. See graphic below.
LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer expressed some concern about the recent increase in school outbreaks this week. The county reported a total of 14 reports last week, one of them returning to the example of “one of our biggest outbreaks since the beginning of the epidemic, I think, in a K-12 school.”
And beyond the size of that single outbreak, Ferrer said, “We’ve tripled the number of new ones. [school] Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during this week.
The increase is related to the spread of BA.2.
But Ferrer noted that test positivity on school campuses is still very low – below the countywide rate.
“So when you see an increase in outbreaks, it means schools have more infections than in the past,” he said, noting that there will be more deadly variants and lower levels of protection. More infections.
“I know people hate these masks, but those masks really helped,” Ferrer said. “As we see more outbreaks in schools, we need to look at it and not dismiss it, not say, ‘No, I will never wear those masks again.’ We will go to the level of security when we need it. ”