COVID-19 Update: USC survey reveals increase in social gatherings, points to rising case rate

Sloane Bozzi, News Editor

Los Angeles County has the highest number of cumulative cases in the United States, while multiple other counties in California see a rise in the number of cases per capita.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecasts an upward trend in the number of deaths nationwide. L.A. County currently holds the record for the most confirmed cases in the nation.

We have compiled data and guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to provide an update for L.A. County. Data is up to date as of Nov. 5. Here is your weekly COVID-19 update.

Total cases:

Total count of cases and deaths as of Nov. 5. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in L.A. County on Jan. 26, the number of positive cases continues to rise. Over 2% of L.A. County’s population of 10 million has had COVID-19.

COVID-19 curve of cumulative cases in Los Angeles County as of Nov. 5. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)


There are 821 COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized in L.A. County. There are 238 COVID-19 positive patients in the Intensive Care Unit. The County currently has 693 available ICU beds.

Race and ethnicity:

L.A. County’s data show cases and deaths disproportionately affect people of color.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health reported that Latinos make up 60.6% of cases with data on race and ethnicity compared to the population, while whites account for 13.4% of cases compared to the population.

Latinos account for 51.6% of all COVID-19 deaths when compared to the population.

Local official updates:

L.A. residents’ increased gatherings correlate to increased cases

The University of Southern California’s Center for Social and Economic Research’s weekly surveys with L.A. County residents combined with information from contact tracing speak to an increase in cases, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Survey respondents indicated increases in close contact with other households and increased attendance at parties, weddings and other social gatherings. There has been a 57% increase in survey respondents saying they have interacted closely with people outside of their household since April.

Over 10% of respondents said they have been in close contact with over 10 people in the last week.

At the beginning of October, the daily case rate was less than 1,000 per week but it has since increased to over 1,200.

L.A. County Department of Public Health reviewing elementary school applications for in-person learning

The L.A. County Department of Public Health received 210 applications from schools for waivers to reopen classrooms for in-person learning as of Nov. 2. Twenty-nine waiver applications have been approved and 45 applications are currently awaiting approval from the state.

Grades TK-2 are the only grades currently allowed to be open for in-person learning.

What’s open:
Grocery stores
Essential retail
Some non-essential retail with modifications
Parks and beaches with modifications
Golf courses
Hotels with modifications
Shared residential pools
Nail salons – limited to 25% capacity
Hair salons – limited to 25% capacity
Barber shops – limited to 25% capacity
Gyms (outdoors with modifications)
Indoor shopping malls – limited to 25% capacity
Zoos (outdoors with modifications)

What’s closed:
Indoor dining at restaurants
Indoor houses of worship
Indoor gyms
Tattoo shops
Face masks are still required in public. Gatherings should be limited to only people in your household.


The L.A. County website has a list of testing locations available for both walk-up and drive-up testing. Testing is available by appointment only.

A comprehensive map of testing locations can be found here.