LOS ANGELES — Wastewater concentrations, which are used to measure COVID levels, were at 60% of last year’s winter peak and up 11% from the previous week, according to data from the Los Angeles County Public Health from early January.

As a state, California has a “very high” respiratory illness activity level, according to the CDC.

Dr. Jerry Abraham, director and chief vaccinologist at CSD-Kedren Mobile Street Medicine, says they expected to see surge after people spent the holidays gathering, kids went back to school and given our low vaccination rates.

The latest numbers show 31% of California residents 65 and older, having receive the updated vaccine since September. 

Dr. Abraham points out those experiencing homelessness face unique challenges when trying to battle any illness. One of his patients, Colby Jack, who has lived in a shelter in downtown Los Angeles, says she had to give up her bed at the shelter and sleep in a tent outside just so she can isolate. It worked for her and she was able to overcome her flu but says sleeping in the cold with recent low temperatures was very tough. 

She has noticed many people at the shelter are sick and unable to get a hold of medication. That is why she is advocating for more people to increase sanitation measures like constant hand-washing and wearing masks.