25 LA Communities with largest increase in cases

Highland Park and Silver Lake and a portion of Echo Park were among the 25 L.A. County communities with the largest increases in COVID-19 case rates this fall.

The figures released by the LA County Health Department earlier this week focused on the change in the case rate -- which measures the number of cases per 100,000 residents -- from about the last half of September to the last half of November. That's when the virus went from spreading at a relatively modest pace to alarming levels that have only worsened since then.

While communities in the San Gabriel Valley and South LA fared the worst, several Eastside neighborhoods also saw among the county's biggest increases:

During November 15 - 28, the Silver Lake case rate skyrocketed 264% compared to the same two-week period in September, according to an update earlier this week by the LA County Public Health Department

 In that same period, the case rate in the Temple-Beaudry area, which includes Echo Park south of Temple Street and east of Glendale Boulevard, jumped 149%.

 Highland Park saw the case rate surge 146%. 

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"If you live or work in these communities, please know that many more people around you are now infected," said county health director Barbara Ferrer of the county list of 25 communities.  "With much higher rates of virus transmission, it's critically important to stay at home as much as possible."

Ferrer said public health workers are targeting the communities by providing more information about how to identify and deal with the virus and connecting residents with necessary services.

Some things to keep in mind:

 The number of cases in Echo Park, Highland Park and Silver Lake were relatively low compared to the hardest hit communities. That could magnify the rate of increase.

 Silver Lake's case rate per 100,000 was 412. That was below the county average of 622 at the time. But the case rate in Highland Park -- 683 -- and the Temple Beaudry area -- 664 -- were both above the county average.

 It's not clear how many of the new cases were at institutional settings. During the early weeks of the pandemic, Silver Lake had among the highest new cases and deaths primarily because of outbreaks at nursing homes.

The LA Times said the figures show how the outbreak has spread and intensified in more affluent communities after afflicting primarily lower-income neighborhoods.

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