Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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By Alyssa Erdley
Observer Staff 

Covid is Getting Less Deadly All the Time, According to LA County Public Health Data

Perhaps it's time to get rid of emergency health orders for good

 

February 23, 2022

LADPH

A slide from Thursday's media briefing predicting they will allow masks to come off indoors around March 12. But why wait?

February 18, 2021 - As the Omicron surge subsides, Los Angeles County Public Health officials are trying to put the brakes on a rapid relaxation of emergency restrictions. While officials now no longer requires masks at outdoor mega-events or on school playgrounds, they will still be required indoors until an estimated mid-March date. Vaccination mandates remain in place for certain categories of workers and certain venues with no end date even mentioned.

County health department data, however, shows that each new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has struck the area has been less deadly, even for the unvaccinated. In taking 4 weeks around the peak of each of the last three major Covid surges, with three weeks following the peak, a pattern emerges of lessening death rates, both overall and specifically for the unvaccinated.

The following are the dates chosen for each of the designated surges:

Alpha Winter 2020-21: December 30, 2020 to January 27, 2021

Delta summer 2021: August 10, 2021 to September 7, 2021

Omicron Winter 2022: January 4, 2022 to February 1, 2022

Using these dates the following were the unvaccinated death/case rates:

Alpha Winter '21: .0173 (assuming basically everyone unvaxxed)

LADPH

Even on the graph, one can see the drifting correlation between cases (in green) and deaths (in blue). Far fewer deaths per case this winter compared to last is easily viewed.

Delta summer '21: .00970

Omicron Winter '22: .00208

These rates show the Delta summer surge was 1.78 times less deadly than the previous winter Alpha surge for the unvaccinated. The present Omicron surge was 4.66 times less deadly than the Delta surge for the unvaxxed and 8.32 times less deadly than the previous Alpha winter surge.

The Omicron death/case rate for the unvaxxed of .00208, or .208%, is only twice as deadly as the seasonal flu. Originally, according to this LADPH data, the unvaxxed death/case rate was 1.73% or 17 times more deadly.

Each mutation of the virus that has taken over the county has consistently been less dangerous. While there is a remote possibility a new varian might arise that is more deadly, it would be far outside the realm of normal virus mutation.

 

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