Unvaccinated Black and Latino residents have the highest COVID-19 rates, L.A. County says

A man gets a vaccine from a healthcare worker while holding another person's hand.
Gary Rucker gets a shot at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in September in downtown Los Angeles.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County on Saturday reported 28 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the death total to 26,308 countywide since the pandemic began, with total reported infections around 1.5 million.

Black and Latino residents who remain unvaccinated have Los Angeles County’s highest rate of COVID-19 infections, while unvaccinated white residents have the highest death rates, the public health department said.

Between late August and late September, unvaccinated Black and Latino residents in LA County together had a rate of about 590 cases per 100,000 people, the county said in a news release.

Black residents had 62 hospitalizations for every 100,000 unvaccinated people, the highest rate of hospitalization, 27% higher than that of Latinos, the county said.

The news release did not specify the death rates of different ethnic groups, but said white residents had the highest rates, followed closely by Black and Latino residents. In raw numbers, the county reported, the virus has killed about 13,200 Latinos, 5,800 white people, 3,300 Asians and 2,200 Black people.

This week, Los Angeles County imposed rules requiring adults to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor venues including bars and nightclubs. People must prove they have had at least one dose, and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4.


Also this week, the Los Angeles City Council passed its own ordinance requiring proof of vaccination to enter indoor venues such as restaurants, coffee shops and gyms in the city’s jurisdiction, rules which will take effect in November.

Over the summer, a Los Angeles Times data analysis has found, COVID-19 killed people in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, which have the highest vaccination rates in the state, at much lower rates than in rural California counties with low vaccination rates.

The analysis showed that the summer’s Delta variant surge struck with particular ferocity in Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley, where less than half of the residents are fully vaccinated.

The state reported on Saturday that there have been 69,507 deaths from COVID-19 so far, and says that unvaccinated Californians are seven times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated ones.