LOS ANGELES:- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 21 new deaths and 943 new cases of COVID-19. The lower number of deaths and cases may reflect reporting delays over the weekend. To date, Public Health identified 1,181,403 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 19,904 deaths.
The seven-day average number of daily cases peaked to more than 15,000 cases on January 8 and has now dropped by 90% to 1,600 a day. This significant drop in case numbers reflects actions and choices taken by millions of residents, workers and employers. Public Health notes this week is when the County could begin to see increases in cases resulting from gatherings over Super Bowl weekend.
Of the 21 new deaths reported today, five people that passed away were over the age of 80, six people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, seven people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29.
There are 2,213 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 31% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 5,771,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 3.4%.
Medically fragile residents at skilled nursing facilities are at great risk for serious illness and death from COVID-19, and along with healthcare workers, were among the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines. As of February 14, 77% of staff and 74% of residents at skilled nursing facilities received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Of these people who received first doses, 83% of staff and 79% of residents received their second dose. With many more staff and residents vaccinated, new cases should continue to decline which will mean less outbreaks and less deaths.
As of February 7, the seven-day average number of daily cases associated with skilled nursing facilities dropped from over 100 just four weeks ago, to 5. As cases have decreased, the number of deaths among people at skilled nursing facilities has also dropped, and the current daily average number of deaths is 7. It is important to note that these facilities did not experience the same steep surge that the County experienced in December and January.
“We know that there are many people across our county who are mourning the loss of someone to COVID-19. We send you our deepest condolences during this very sad time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Half a million people have passed away across our nation, and here in L.A. County, we are approaching the terrible milestone of 20,000 deaths. We hope that people chose to celebrate the Super Bowl and the Presidents Day weekend safely, with members of their household. Should we continue to see less cases, we can move forward in our recovery, as lower case rates allow for other sector re-openings. Last week, the decline in the daily case rate allowed schools the option of reopening for in-class instruction for students in grades TK through 6. When the case rate drops to 7 new cases per 100,000, schools would have the option of allowing in class instruction for students in grades 7 through 12.”
Nearly 1,771,000 doses of vaccine have been administered across the county. Of those vaccinated, 513,586 people have received second doses. Currently, only healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, and people who are age 65 or older, are eligible to be vaccinated and this accounts for approximately 2.2 million people here in L.A. County. Of all those currently eligible for vaccine, 80% on average, have received at least one dose, and 23% are fully vaccinated.
There continues to be a scarcity of supply and variability in the amount of vaccine received from week to week. To date, we received 1,831,075 doses of vaccine. The County has capacity for almost 500,000 appointment slots this week, however there are only enough doses for 209,000 appointments. Our large capacity vaccination sites alone could provide 157,000 additional doses this week if there was sufficient vaccine supply. At this time, as more vaccine comes into L.A. County, our priority is to ensure that eligible residents and workers in the hardest hit communities have easy access to vaccines.
On March 1, three additional sectors become eligible to receive vaccinations; education and childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency services and first responders. The County is working with these sectors and other partners to finalize vaccination strategies that offer multiple sites where eligible workers can get vaccinated. There are approximately 691,000 people in the education and childcare sector, 145,000 people in the emergency services and law enforcement, and 470,000 people in the food and agriculture sector eligible for a vaccine.
There are vaccinators at the over 400 vaccination sites who every day are providing vaccines to thousands of people, and many partners who are continually innovating to create ways for people who are living in the hardest hit areas have access to the vaccine. There is no shortage of heroes here in L.A. County, and we could not be more grateful for all of this amazing work.
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