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The California workers compensation system reported an increase of 1,005 COVID-19 claims from October to November, the first increase in such claim volume since June, according to a report released Tuesday by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.
The CWCI said the claim volume increase is likely attributed in part to the BA.5, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 COVID-19 subvariants.
The number of claims varied by region and industry, with the highest increases in Los Angeles County, the Bay Area and the Central Valley, and the industries most affected being public safety, government, health care and retail.
The Central Valley saw double the number of COVID-19 claims in November than October, and the region surpassed the Bay Area to become California’s second-largest region for COVID-19 claims.
The latest data, reported as of Dec. 14, shows health care workers for the first time since January 2021 filed more COVID-19 workers comp claims than public safety and government employees.
The data also shows that the rising figures came after a peak of 9,626 claims filed in June followed by a seven-month low of 1,442 claims in October.
In November, claims increased 69.7% to 2,447, and additional claims with November injury dates are still being recorded, according to the CWCI.
Based on historical reporting, the CWCI projects the November COVID-19 claim count to hover around 3,303, which would be 9.2% below the projected total of 3,639 claims from one year earlier.