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Los Angeles County identifies 10 new COVID-19 hot spots

Health officials have labeled nearly a dozen COVID-19 hotspots in Los Angeles County after a two-week period that ended November 6. Areas such as Lancaster, Palmdale, Studio City, and Santa Clarita are among the 10 places that have seen an increase in the rate of new infections.

Health officials are still trying to determine the cause of the rise in the rate of new infections in several communities throughout Los Angeles County, California as most of the cities have high vaccination rates.

The county health department indicated that seven of the communities on the list had vaccination rates above the countywide rate, but the officials are insisting that does not negate the effectiveness of the vaccines.

“If you’re not vaccinated, you’ve got a much higher risk of ending up infected, ending up in the hospital and tragically passing away,” said Health Director Barbara Ferrer during a media briefing. “That’s crystal clear and it hasn’t really changed for months now.” 

Lancaster and Palmdale, which are the top two communities on the list with the highest new case rates, have below average rates of fully vaccinated residents: 58 percent and 66 percent respectively. Studio City, though, with the third-highest new case rate, boasts a 79 percent vaccination rate, and Santa Clarita, coming in fourth, has a 75 percent rate of vaccination. Currently, the countywide number of fully vaccinated residents is 73 percent.

“Some of our communities that have right now these higher case rates are in fact communities that have really decent coverage in terms of vaccination … and they still have a problem with high case rates,” Ferrer said.

She also noted that several factors could be the cause in different communities, one possibility being that some areas had large numbers of people who had not been previously infected with COVID-19 and remain unvaccinated.

“That certainly is possible,” said Ferrer, “although we have to look at more data to draw that conclusion.” Ferrer added that younger age groups are driving the increase, as the median age of those becoming infected ranges from 26 to 36.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FT.COM

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