Free pop-up COVID testing site in Boyle Heights. Photo by Antonio Mejías-Rentas.

The daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Boyle Heights increased nearly 25 times during the recent omicron surge – a higher rate than the overall increase for Los Angeles County.

According to a review of data by Crosstown, in the 30-day period from Nov. 22-Dec. 21, 347 new cases were recorded in Boyle Heights. From Dec. 22-Jan 21, 8,786 new cases were identified. That’s a 1,600% increase in the neighborhood in just one month.

During the same periods, the number of new cases in East Los Angeles went from 550 to 13,022 – a 2,267% increase.

In Los Angeles County, the numbers increased from 50,449 new cases to 858,514 new cases – a 1,600% increase countywide in one month.

The way the numbers increased, according to Crosstown, reflected the trend of higher infections in the county’s most vulnerable neighborhoods since the early days of the pandemic:

Virtually every community in Los Angeles saw the number of new coronavirus cases at least triple during a one-month period. But in some South Los Angeles neighborhoods and other low-income areas, the increase was more than 30-fold.

The neighborhood with the highest one-month rate of increase during the omicron surge was Central Alameda, with a 3,685% increase, followed by Florence-Firestone (3,336%) and Historic South Central (3,260%).

In contrast, more affluent neighborhoods saw case rate increases well below the countywide benchmark. Santa Monica, for example, had a 665% increase and Beverly Hills a 553% increase.

From the beginning of the pandemic, low-income communities of color like Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles have experienced the greatest devastation from COVID-19  in LA County and across the United States.

The height of the omicron surge saw the highest numbers of new daily cases reported in Boyle Heights since the onset of the pandemic. On Jan 10, a record number of 717 new cases were reported in Boyle Heights and a record number of 1,027 new cases were reported in East Los Angeles.

The numbers of new cases have been on a downward trend since, with 80 new cases reported in Boyle Heights on Wednesday and 81 new cases reported in East Los Angeles. 

– With COVID reporting by Jennifer López

Look here for a daily update on coronavirus cases:

Coronavirus in Boyle Heights and East LA

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Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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