COVID-19 May Have Been Circulating in LA in December, UCLA Study Suggests

UCLA researchers and colleagues have found that there was a significant increase in patients with coughs and acute respiratory failure at UCLA Health hospitals and clinics beginning in late December, suggesting that COVID-19 may have been circulating in the area months before the first definitive cases in the U.S. were identified, it was announced Thursday.

Researchers looked at medical records for the area and found that there was a spike in patients with these COVID-10 type symptoms, which continued through February. This 50% increase in such cases when compared with the same time period in each of the previous five years.