The summer surge of COVID-19 claims that hit the California workers’ compensation system in July and August appears to have run its course, according to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.
A CWCI analysis released on Tuesday shows the number of claims reported to the state Division of Workers’ Compensation in September and October fell sharply, with the projected claim count for October falling to 3,621 cases, down nearly 56% from the 8,197 claims projected for the summer peak in August.
According to new figures from the CWCI’s COVID-19/Non-COVID-19 Interactive Application, based on claims reported to the DWC as of Nov. 15, show that after declining steadily from January through May, the number of work-related COVID claims increased more than tenfold between May and August, climbing to the highest level since January as the state’s economy fully reopened and the Delta virus spread throughout the state.
Additional claims from September and October are still being reported, but the COVID-19 claim totals as of Nov. 15 show the DWC has recorded 3,671 claims with September injury dates and 2,743 claims with October injury dates, according to CWCI.
The addition of the pandemic claim totals for September and October pushed the number of COVID claims reported since the beginning of the pandemic to 168,477, including 1,211 death claims.
COVID claims have accounted for 15.6% of all California work injury claims since the first cases were reported in January 2020, however the recent data suggest vaccines and safety measures are having an effect as COVID cases represented only 9.5% of the work injury and illness claims reported for the first 10 months of this year, and just 6.1% of all claims with October injury dates, according to the CWCI analysis.
The latest COVID claims data are from the Nov. 15 update to CWCI’s COVID-19/Non-COVID-19 Interactive Claim App, which integrates data from CWCI, DWC, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to provide data on California work injury claims.
The app includes COVID claims data dating back to January 2020, as well as data on monthly non-COVID claims volume from 2019. The app is updated biweekly and is available to the public.
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