Updated: LA County Data Update Appears To Show Jump in Local Virus Cases

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Updated, June 2: LA County Department of Public Health numbers indicate an increase of 15 total cases of the novel coronavirus reported in Malibu since last year—442 total.

Earlier reporting from The Malibu Times stated “it appeared only five of those cases were from the past week”; however, information received Wednesday morning from the LA County Department of Public Health showed that up to 12 of those cases were recorded in the week from May 25–31.

“A batch of historic cases was reported on Thursday 5/27/21. This included three historic cases and one historic death in the City of Malibu,” a public health spokesperson wrote in an email Wednesday. “These historic cases and historic deaths were identified through external COVID-19 data sources that were not reported through traditional surveillance mechanisms but meet the COVID-19 case definition. The historic cases and historic deaths were added to the cumulative totals for each city/community. We also routinely receive updated information on individuals’ addresses which may cause case numbers in a specific city/community to increase.”

In a press release on May 27, the department wrote that “historical L.A. County resident cases dating back to March 16, 2020, that are included in case totals.” Those cases came from “inpatient and outpatient medical records and cases with updated address information or revised jurisdiction criteria.” One additional coronavirus-related death was also recorded in Malibu, bringing the city’s total number of residents killed by the virus to eight. 

If there were 12 cases reported in the past week, that would be the biggest leap in new reported COVID-19 cases in Malibu since April 5.

Malibu’s vaccination numbers continued to trend significantly lower than the vaccination rates across Los Angeles County, with 55.5 percent of residents ages 16 and over having received at least one vaccine dose. That falls seven points shy of the county average of 62.7 percent, and well below many comparable cities’ vaccination rates including Agoura Hills (69.2%), Calabasas (70.4%), Santa Monica (73.7%) and Beverly Hills (71.6%). 

Malibu’s overall case rate for the virus is estimated at 3,410 infections per 100,000 residents, putting its rate of infection close to that of La Cañada Flintridge in northern Los Angeles (case rate of 3,697), Rancho Palos Verdes in the South Bay (case rate of 3,612) and San Marino on the east side (2,885). However, vaccination rates in those communities dwarf Malibu’s—La Cañada Flintridge’s vaccination rate is 73.4 percent, Rancho Palos Verdes’ is 70.8 percent and San Marino’s is 73.5 percent. 

Malibu’s vaccination rate is comparable to that of many of LA’s denser inner-city neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights and East LA.