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Los Angeles County COVID-19 Cases by City/Community (Photo: Cal-State University, Northridge)

Highest COVID-19 Rates Highest in Democrat-Controlled West LA and Hollywood

Survey: Coronavirus has a social location and is not evenly distributed throughout Los Angeles County

By Wayne Lusvardi, April 4, 2020 5:51 pm

Covid-19 has a social location and is not evenly distributed throughout Los Angeles County. The highest rates of Corona-Virus outbreak in Los Angeles County are in Democrat-controlled West Los Angeles and Hollywood, with predominantly white ethnicity and white-collar occupations.  However, Corona-virus is only moderately associated with Asian, Latino and Black communities in LA County in Democrat-Party controlled lower-income, blue-collar areas. Conversely, the lowest relative Covid-19 rates are in Republican suburbs of Eastern LA County of mixed ethnicities and mixed blue and white-collar occupations. This suggests behavioral factors are implicated in Covid-19.

According to data compiled by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), there have been 3,352 laboratory-confirmed cases and 65 deaths from Covid-19 virus in Los Angeles County since late February 2020.  This equates to a 1.9 percent mortality rate out of all cases or 6.5 deaths out of every 1 million persons in the county or 335 cases per 1 million persons.

Public health data has been sorted in the data tables below by the highest, lowest and moderate rate of cases, not by deaths. 

Location

The highest rates of Covid-19 cases are located in Democrat West Los Angeles and Hollywood communities (103 to 201 cases per 100,000) compared to Republican suburbs in East LA County with the lowest case rate (0 to 17 cases per 100,000).  A moderate level of rate of cases is located in Democrat Central Los Angeles in lower-income communities (15 to 34 cases per 100,000). 

Age

The typical age for contracting the virus ranges from 18 to 65, with the largest cluster in the 41 to 65 age range, with only 20 percent in the elderly 65 and above age group.  Less than 1 percent are children under age 18. 

Income

Income is bimodal – meaning greater income is associated with both the highest disease rates (Democrat West LA) and the lowest rates (Republican Eastern suburbs).   Those living in Central LA County with the lowest household income levels ($29,477 median income) have a moderate disease rate. 

Occupation

Occupation is highly associated with a higher rate of cases of Covid-19.  White collar communities clustered in Democrat West LA County have much higher rate of cases (134 out of every 100,000) than in suburban Republican Eastern LA County with mixed blue collar and white-collar occupations (10.5 out of every 100,000). 

Ethnicity

The strongest ethnic association with high Covid-19 case rates is the general category “White.”  The weakest ethnic association is “Asian” as shown in Data Table D below.

Summary 

The sorting of data below indicates some of the stereotypes circulating in the media about Covid-19 are erroneous in LA County:

  • Areas with high Chinese ethnicity are not related to Covid-19 prevalence.
  • The vulnerable elderly do not necessarily have a higher proportion of cases
  • Lower income communities living in dense family networks do not have a significantly higher incidence of cases.
  • More religiously observant Republicans in Eastern LA County apparently did not spread Covid-19 more than less-religious communities in West LA up to the March 20 “shelter-in-place” order.
  • There have been only 5 cases of Covid-19 out of 2,500 homeless persons on skid row in Downtown LA (0.20% rate) indicating the homeless have one of the lowest rates of virus cases in the County despite their living conditions and density.

This brief, non-scientific, survey also suggests that 1) there are other social and behavioral factors involved in the origin and spread of Covid-19; and 2) that the public health policies of social distancing and shut downs of non-essential businesses and churches and synagogues are not targeted to those more likely, but unexplained, factors.  Readers are cautioned that correlation does not mean causation.   

Table A – Representative Highest Rate Cov-19 Cases – LA County (All Democrat)

Area/City

(Persons per Household)

Cases

Cases/100,000 (Rounded)

Median HH Income

Ethnicity
(Rounded)

Avg. Age

In years for Area

(rounded)

Preponderant

Occupation

Hancock Park

LA

33

201

$85,277

71% white

42
(13% > 65)

83% white collar

City of West

Hollywood

(1.5 per HH)

64

179

$69,249

81% white

39
(17%  > 65)

81% white collar

Melrose, LA

(N/A)

104

134

$54,183

80% white

39

(18% >65)

81% white collar

Brentwood District, LA

(2.0 per HH)

39

125

$112,927

84% white

44
(17% > 65)

>80%

White collar

City of Beverly Hills
(2.3 per HH)

39

112

$96,312

82% white

44

(18% > 65)

>80%

White collar

Hollywood Hills, LA
(1.8 per HH)

32

111

$69,277

74% white

39
(11% > 65)

White collar

Hollywood, LA
(2 per HH)

67

103

$33,694

42% Latino

31
(9% > 65)

Mixed

378

138 average

134 median

$74, 417 avg.

$69,277 med

White

41 avg.

White collar

Data Table B – Representative Lowest Covid-19 Rates – LA County (all Republican)

City

Cases

Rate/100,000
(Rounded)

Median HH

Income

Ethnicity

(Rounded)

Avg. Age
in Years

Preponderant Occupation

Whittier

15

17

$66,891

67% Latino

35

Blue collar

San Dimas

5

15

$84,953

61% white

42

Mixed

Glendora

7

13

$81,336

67% white

42

White collar

Diamond Bar

6

10.5

$92,414

43% Asian

43

White collar

La Verne

2

6

$83,352

49% white, 36% Asian

44

Mixed

Bradbury

0

0

$123,777

66% white, 19% Asian

48

White collar

Rolling Hills

0

0

$184,777

76% white

51

White collar

8.8 avg.

10.5 median

Data Table C – Representative Moderate Covid-19 Rates in Blue Collar, All Democrat Areas

Area

Cases

Rate per 100,000

(Rounded)

Median HH Income

Ethnicity

Avg. Age in Years

Preponderant

Occupation

Koreatown, LA

18

34

$30,558

53% Latino
32% Asian

35

Mixed

Florence, LA

14

28

$29,447

86% Latino

28

Blue collar

South Park, LA

11

28

$29,518

79% Latino

32

Blue collar

Westlake, LA

13

22

$26,757

73% Latino

N/A

Blue collar

Pico-Union, LA

9

21

$26,424

85% Latino

33

Blue collar

Watts, LA

7

16

$25,161

62% Latino

37% Black

25

Blue collar

Lincoln Heights, LA

5

15

$30,579

71% Latino

27

Blue collar

77

23

$29,447 med

Mixed

30

Blue collar

Data Table D – Representative Asian Communities in LA County – Covid-19 Cases (Mixed Political Affiliation)

City/Area

Cases

Cases/100,000

(Rounded)

Median HH Income

Ethnicity

(Rounded)

Avg. Age

(Rounded)

Predominant Occupation

Alhambra

(2.8 per HH)

13

15

$57,115

51% Asian

38.5

(16.9% > 65)

White collar

Monterey Park
(3 per HH)

9

15

$55,117

67% Asian

45

(18.4% >65)

Mixed

Arcadia

(3 per HH)

0

0

$92,102

61% Asian

44 years
(19% >65)

White collar

22

10 average

$68,110 avg.

60%

42.5

White collar

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3 thoughts on “Highest COVID-19 Rates Highest in Democrat-Controlled West LA and Hollywood

  1. Glad to see this from Wayne Lusvardi, one of a handful of fact-driven, truth-telling policy writers in California.

  2. Ignored or otherwise glossed over in this study is that West Los Angeles and Hollywood (as well as the West San Fernando Valley) are heavily Jewish. As a group, Ashkenazi Jews are famously unhealthy, prone both to genetic diseases as a general as well as (by simple observation) chronic, background ill health. Although in the study they are listed as “White,” it would be interesting to know what percentage are of the infected/diseased are in fact of the majority Ashkenazim/Eastern European ancestry in these areas.

    Just a thought.

    VicB3

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