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Outdoor Youth and Adult Recreational Sports Allowed with Safety Measures; Vital Records Review Shows Additional 806 COVID-19 Deaths During Surge

136 New Deaths and 2,157 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
(A healthcare worker checks the temperature of a person in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the parking lot at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., as Los Angeles County launches five large capacity vaccination sites on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Officials expect to administer 4,000 vaccines a day when the process smooths over. Photo: Trevor Stamp)

LOS ANGELES:- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 136 new deaths and 2,157 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 1,185,457 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 20,987 deaths.

Through extensive checks of death records, Public Health has identified an additional 806 COVID-19 -associated deaths that were not initially recorded as COVD-19 deaths. The majority of these deaths occurred during the surge between December 3, 2020 and February 3, 2021, a period when many deaths occurred and not all were reported to Public Health due to the volume of records. Public Health identifies COVID-associated deaths primarily by submission of Death Report Forms from healthcare providers. Additionally, vital records are used to identify deaths related to COVID-19 by reviewing the cause of death listed on death certificates. This review of vital records, delayed by the high volume of Death Report Forms during the surge, identified the additional deaths. Public Health has already reported 9,712 deaths that occurred between December 2020 and January 2021 and were reported through Death Report Forms. Therefore, 92% of deaths that occurred during that period were previously reported.

Among these people who passed away, the majority, 47% were over 80 years old and a about half were male, 46% were Latino/Latinx, 29% were White, 16% were Asian, and 8% were Black/African American. Four people who passed away were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders and one person was an American Indian or Alaska Native. Sixty-three percent died at the hospital and 16% died at a skilled nursing facility.

As of Friday, updated State guidance allows for all outdoor youth and adult recreational sports, including moderate contact and high contact sports, to resume practice, training and competitions in counties where the case rate is at or below 14 cases per 100,000 population, on Friday, February 26. Since L.A. County’s adjusted case rate is now at 12.3 cases per 100,000, county protocols are being revised to align with the new State guidance. Moderate contact sports include: baseball, field hockey, softball, and volleyball, all outdoors, and high contact sports include: football, basketball, rugby, soccer, and water polo, all outdoors.

The new State guidance requires youth leagues offering moderate and high-contact sports obtain consent from parents or guardians of participants to ensure they are aware of the risks of playing. Competitions are limited to two teams within a county or two teams playing from adjacent counties. Travel to other states and countries to play in competitions or tournaments is prohibited for counties still in the purple tier. Youth and Coaches who participate in certain high-contact sports – namely, football, rugby, and water polo – are required to get tested on a weekly basis for COVID-19.

These revised protocols cover all youth and adult recreational sports; schools, city leagues, and private clubs are all required to adhere to all the safety measures in the protocols. A full list of sports and guidance will be posted later today on www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

To date, Public Health has confirmed a total of 18 cases of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant), in Los Angeles County. Scientific research suggests COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the U.K. variant. Vaccine supplies are still limited and the local transmission of the potentially more infectious U.K. variant underscores the need for Los Angeles County residents to continue to use every tool we have to prevent transmission, including not gathering with people you do not live with and distancing and masking when you are out of your home and around others. These measures limit the spread of the virus and known variants and can reduce the likelihood of a surge in cases due to this variant.

Of the 136 new deaths reported today, 44 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 41 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 26 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, 11 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49, and two people who died was between the ages of 18 and 29. Ten deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and two deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.

There are 2,064 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 30% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 5,789,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 3.3%.

“It is heartbreaking to report on this large number of additional deaths associated with COVID-19 and a devastating reminder of the terrible toll the winter surge has taken on so many families across the county. To all of you who have lost a loved one or friend to the virus, we are so sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Improving vaccine access to areas of the county that have been hard hit is our priority, and these tend to be areas where many Black and Latinx residents live. We have opened additional sites in these areas and are working with community groups who are assisting with registering people in these communities for vaccination. We thank our partners for their help and support as we continue to ensure improved access to vaccines in those communities that have borne the brunt of this pandemic.”

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