A leading COVID-19 model cited by the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that roughly 1 in 17 people in Los Angeles County are currently infected with the virus.
Youyang Gu’s covid19-projections.com works off the assumption that county-reported case counts are an undercount of actual infections, and estimates the current number of individuals infected in each county by calculating the base reproduction number (R0), using data from Johns Hopkins University and the COVID Tracking Project.
According to the model’s projections, roughly 5.9% of the population of Los Angeles County — which translates to one in 17 people — has an active COVID-19 infection, which is tied for the second-highest rate among all counties in the United States with a population greater than 500,000. The first-place county is neighboring San Bernardino County, where 7.2% of the population is infected (1 in 14). Riverside County is tied with Los Angeles County at 5.9%, or 1 in 17.
The fourth-place county is Fresno (4.9%) and the fifth-place county is Kern (4.6%), meaning that, according to the model, the country’s five worst-hit populous counties are all in Southern California or the Central Valley.
When looking at all counties regardless of population, Nevada’s tiny Pershing County (population of 6,725) has the worst infection rate, with 1 in 4 estimated to be infected. Northern California’s Lassen County (population of 30,573) is in fourth place with 1 in 10 infected.
Los Angeles County officials have warned that the region’s surge is stretching hospital staff thin, and could soon prevent non-COVID patients from receiving necessary care.
“Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open church gyms to serve as hospital units,” supervisor Hilda Solis said. “Our health care workers are physically and mentally exhausted and sick.”
News – 1 in 17 people in Los Angeles County currently has COVID-19, model projects