The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 12 new deaths and 159 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 12 new deaths reported today, six people that passed away were over the age of 80, two people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, and four people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64.
To date, Public Health identified 1,237,681 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,106 deaths.
There are 338 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for more than 6,653,000 individuals with 17% of people testing positive.
The State released updated blueprint tier numbers; L.A. County’s adjusted case rate dropped from 1.4 new cases per 100,000 people to 1.2 new cases per 100,000. The overall test positivity rate dropped from 0.7% to 0.6% across the county and in areas with the fewest health affirming resources.
With declining case and test positivity rates, Los Angeles County remains in the least restrictive yellow tier in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends who are experiencing the sorrow of losing a loved one to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We continue to urge everyone eligible to get vaccinated so that our case and test positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths remain low. With a high vaccination rate, when someone gets infected, there’s almost nowhere for the infection to spread to. Join the movement to end the pandemic by finding a place near you where you feel comfortable getting vaccinated.”
Young people can transmit COVID-19 just as easily as older people when people are unvaccinated and not masking or keeping their distance. When teens are vaccinated, it helps the entire community because their immunity prevents transmission of COVID-19 to others. While the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is lower for teens than adults, unvaccinated teens can increase the spread of infection, while those vaccinated help contain the virus.
Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated. For now, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for children, so make sure to go to a site that administers the Pfizer vaccine for children and teens. Many sites require that children be accompanied by a parent or guardian or that the child is accompanied by a responsible adult and has a signed consent form. Teens are also required to bring proof of their age at sites where they are not known to the provider.
Public Health is focusing efforts on the 43 school districts located in the hardest hit communities in the county, including LAUSD. The first part of the strategy involves organizing school site pop-up clinics. There are 60 school sites where pop-up clinics are providing vaccines to people in their surrounding communities. LAUSD is hoping to send mobile teams to over 200 school sites starting next week. The second part of this strategy involves onboarding existing school-based clinics as COVID-19 vaccine providers. Eighty-two percent of 62 existing school-based clinics are in low-resource zip codes. About half are on high school campuses and 11% are on middle school campuses. Eighteen of these school-based clinics are currently administering COVID-19 vaccines, and the capacity at these clinics ranges from 100 to 500 shots per day. Additionally, at least 12 school districts have a licensed school nurse who has expressed interest in providing the vaccine. Public Health is actively engaging these school districts and onboarding them to provide Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to students as well as to the communities.
Public Health will host a Vaccine Town Hall for Parents today, Tuesday, May 18, at 6:00 p.m. Join the town hall to get the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine, including information for children. The town hall will be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @lapublichealth. For more information and to submit a question, visit:
COVID-19 vaccinations are available at County-run sites and many community sites without an appointment. To find a vaccination site near you, to make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). If you don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or you’re over 65, you can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
County Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, 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