The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 1 new death and 366 new cases of COVID-19. The lower number of deaths and cases reflect reporting delays over the weekend. To date, Public Health identified 1,222,447 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,276 deaths.
Three months ago, there were 14,200 daily cases. Since then, Los Angeles County has experienced a 97% drop in the number of daily cases, falling to fewer than 400 in late-March. During the same time period, daily hospitalizations fell 92%, from more than 8,000 daily hospitalizations to 650 daily hospitalizations, and the number of daily deaths dropped 96%, from 252 daily deaths to just 9 daily deaths.
The reported COVID-19 death occurred in a person between the ages of 50 and 64 years old.
Testing results are available for more than 6,137,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 1.5%.
Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance related to travelers who have been fully vaccinated. Effective today, Los Angeles County is updating its travel advisory.
The CDC and Los Angeles County continue to urge that everyone avoid non-essential travel during this time when there are significant hot spots across the country and the world and significant risk from more infectious variants.
Travel is associated with additional risks. Travelers who are fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks have passed after their second dose for Pfizer or Moderna, or after their single dose of Johnson & Johnson are, however, at lower risk and can now travel and will not be required to test or quarantine upon their arrival in Los Angeles County if they do not have any symptoms of illness. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine for seven full days after travel if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result taken three to five days after their arrival. If a traveler does not get tested after they arrive in Los Angeles County, they must quarantine for a full 10 days. All travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, must self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after their arrival, and should get tested and isolate if they develop symptoms.
At 12:01 a.m. this morning, changes to the Health Officer Order took effect, reflecting the County’s move into the Orange tier. As a result, many business and sector protocols were updated over the weekend, including bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries, family entertainment centers, gyms, movie theaters, restaurants, retail establishments, grocery stores, and outdoor live events. It is important that businesses follow the safety measures laid out in these protocols. As seen in the past, re-openings and increasing capacity limits often lead to an increase in cases. It is critical businesses take every precaution necessary to protect employees and customers. Public Health inspectors are out and will provide any clarity or technical assistance should businesses need it.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and families who are living through the tragedy of losing a loved one. We are sending our love and prayers during your time of grief,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I want to commend everyone for the tremendous progress we have seen over the last two months. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are down to numbers we have not seen since the early days of the pandemic, and we are now officially in the orange tier, meaning more businesses and activities are open. With more variants, increases in cases across the country and much of the world, and lots more intermingling here in L.A. County, we will need to continue following public health safety measures if we want to hold on to our gains. So it makes sense to be clear about what it will take to continue the recovery journey and to remain committed to following the essential safety measures: Wear a mask. Stay 6-feet apart from others while in public. Wash your hands. And please, get vaccinated when you’re eligible.”
As of March 25, approximately 2,493,301 persons who reside in Los Angeles County (including Long Beach and Pasadena) have been vaccinated with at least 1 dose of vaccine since January 1, 2021. While the majority of the L.A. County population has not yet been vaccinated, the increasing rate of vaccination likely is beginning to reduce infections across the County.
This week, there are 397,430 total doses allocated to the County of LA. The allocation for this week is higher than the 378,000 doses received last week, 54,000 of which were from Johnson & Johnson. This week, the County received 118,100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccines are distributed among many sites across the county including hospitals, county large capacity sites, City of LA sites, mobile sites, and pharmacies. Unfortunately, Los Angeles County is still not receiving enough doses. Sites across the county currently have the ability to administer nearly 700,000 doses. Public Health expects allocations to the county to increase in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanded to all residents 50 through 64 years old in addition to all other eligible groups. On April 15, vaccines become available to any resident in Los Angeles County who is 16 and older. Public Health remains focused on improving administration of doses in hard hit communities and are prioritizing allocations of doses to providers vaccinating residents in these communities. In total, of the 566 vaccinations sites across the county this week, 266 are located in hard hit communities. Mobile vaccine teams are deploying to hard hit communities, with a priority of vaccinating residents 65 and older. There are 107 mobile vaccination teams scheduled to administer vaccinations this week at senior housing sites, senior centers, faith-based organizations and community-based organizations.
As of April 2, 1,827 schools are providing on-campus services for high needs students. This includes over 110,000 students and over 38,000 staff. As of today, 44 public school districts and 334 private and charter schools are open in Los Angeles County. Another 20 districts and 118 private and charter schools are scheduled to open between now and April 26, including LAUSD. More than 1,500 school site visits have been conducted across L.A. County. Under the current Health Officer Order, schools and school districts are permitted to reopen whenever they are prepared to be fully compliant with L.A. County and State directives, and Public Health will continue providing technical assistance or guidance as needed.
Outbreaks at schools are extremely rare in L.A. County. There have been 87 K-12 school affiliated outbreaks since Sept 1, 2020, with only one new outbreak over the last 8 weeks. This is a significant decline from what we saw during the surge, where there were more than 50 outbreaks in the month of December alone. It is important to remember that cases recorded for schools do not necessarily happen in the school setting. In many cases there is information that these people acquired their case from transmission outside of the school setting, such as a community or family setting.
School staff have been eligible to be vaccinated since March 1. Many partners including school districts, schools, providers, unions, and health care providers have worked together to vaccinate these essential workers. School staff can get vaccinated through pharmacies, County or City PODs, LAUSD education specific sites and district-health facility partnerships. To date, 239,090 vaccine doses have been allocated to teachers and staff as of last week in K through 12 public and independent schools. According to weekly surveys sent to school districts from the Los Angeles County Office of Education, every teacher who wanted a vaccine has been offered a vaccine, which is a significant achievement in a little over four weeks.
Public Health, in partnership with Los Angeles County school districts, is supporting the Public Health Ambassador Program for students and parents. This partnership with Los Angeles County school districts actively engages members of school communities in preventing and reducing the spread of COVID-19 by empowering students and parents as essential partners in each school’s prevention effort. More than 100 parents have participated in zoom group discussions to date, and promotoras continue providing individual education to hundreds of parents each week, and have shared information with 3,464 parents to date. One hundred and forty-four students across 32 schools continue meeting every week to receive training about the safety measures needed to protect themselves and their families and are currently developing scripts for educational videos that will be used at elementary, middle and high school levels.
For information about who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in L.A. County, how to make an appointment if it is your turn, what verifications you will need to show at your vaccination appointment, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
County Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional actions you can take to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
Submitted by Public Health