Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features CWCI’s release of a new analysis that found California Workers’ Comp COVID claim volume continues to track with the state’s infection trends, with the latest monthly count jumping 172% in December to the second highest level of the year as the Omicron variant spread rapidly across the state.
Key findings included that 181,770 COVID claims have been reported to the CA DWC since the pandemic started, and the monthly COVID claim count fell to a 5-month low in November. This trend reversed as the current count of 8,292 COVID claims for December represented a one-month increase of 172%, and is already above the Delta surge’s peak in August. The spike pushed the 2021 COVID claim total to 63,034 – 10% of all 2021 claims reported to the state. CWCI noted that this was significantly better than the 118,995 COVID claims reported for 2020, prior to the availability of vaccines, when COVID cases accounted for 17.9% of all workers’ comp claims reported to the state. With the Omicron surge at the end of 2021, however, COVID claims as a percent of all claims more than tripled.