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Omicron is Proving to be Far Less Serious than Delta: Out of 253,085 Cases in One Week in LA County, Only 151 Deaths

This compares to 114 weekly deaths before Omicron, with only 6,312 weekly cases, an order-of-magnitude difference

January 11, 2022 - Data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shows increasingly good news regarding the Omicron variant, which is responsible for 85% or more of new Covid cases in the region.

Out of a 7-day total of 253,085 cases - an unprecedentedly high number - there are only 3,400 people in the hospital who have Covid and there were only 151 deaths. The ratio of hospitalizations and deaths to the current number of cases is better for the week ending January 10 than it was for the week ending January 4. It is exceedinly better than for the week ending December 1, before Omicron entered the scene.

Between this week and last, there was a 173% rise in new cases, but hospitalizations and deaths did not raise commensurately. There was only a 156% rise in deaths and a 152% rise in hospitalizations. One must remember that the number given by the county for hospitalizations includes everyone who happens to have tested positive for Covid as they enter the hospital. LACDPH officials say only 45% of those in the hospital "with" Covid are there for Covid-related illnesses.

Between this week and the week ending Dec 1, there was a 4,001% rise in new Covid cases. Yes, you read that right. Four thousand and one percent rise. But there was only a 132% difference in deaths between that last week of November and the past week of huge Covid case numbers. There was a 605% rise in hospitalizations. Omicron is proving to be an order of magnitude less dangerous a disease than Delta.

Certainly, deaths lag behind case numbers, but there are many cases from the past behind today's new case counts. Some, or possibly all, of the past week's deaths may be from Delta cases that had been hospitalized for weeks. The county has not delineated which deaths are from Omicron and which are from Delta - it is unlikely they know since each case is not sequenced to determine the variant of the disease.


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