County COVID-19 Newsletter Issued


In this week’s Los Alamos County COVID-19 Newsletter issued Friday, Sept. 16, William F. Athas, PhD and retired epidemiologist, writes in the “Epidemiology Corner” that nationwide hospitalizations continue to decline gradually as the BA.5 Omicron variant remains predominant. In Los Alamos, there is a declining trend in transmission and emergency department visits, and the wastewater surveillance program continues to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus with only the BA.5 variant identified. The CDC Community Level for Los Alamos is downgraded to “Low.” 

As for age trends in reported case transmission within the county, Athas reports that “[a]ll age groups in the county are seeing the same favorable declining trend in reported case transmission. These patterns are particularly encouraging given that schools have been in session for over a month now. According to NMDOH, no cases have been reported among youth 5-19 years during the first 12 days of September. Among the elderly, however, the same pattern of comparatively high transmission seen in August appears to be continuing in September. Whether this reflects a true comparative incidence pattern or simply a greater likelihood of reportable PCR-testing in the elderly remains unclear. The advent of at-home rapid antigen testing, which is non-reportable, has placed challenging limitations on the interpretation of COVID-19 incidence statistics, particularly when unexpected patterns occur. Nevertheless, virus transmission is undoubtedly occurring in county seniors, and current CDC vaccination data indicate that 95% of those 65+ years have received the first two primary doses, but of these, only 83% have received a booster dose, which CDC considers critical for effectively preventing severe COVID-19.” 

To read the entire “Epidemiology Corner,” and other COVID-19 news and information visit the Los Alamos County COVID-19 Newsletter: