As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, efforts to improve vaccine equity across the county’s most diverse communities remain a top priority for Public Health and community organizations across the county.  Community organizations have employed hundreds of health educators and health workers to provide residents in hard hit communities with resources and information.  As of December 14th, these efforts have resulted in more than 350,000 outreach activities, including support for 2,000 in-person vaccination events and 11,000 virtual COVID educational sessions. Combined, these efforts have reached more than 2.3 million residents to date. 

Over four hundred local faith-based organizations have also been critical partners, reaching out to their congregants and neighbors to sponsor more than 813 mobile vaccination clinics throughout the county, including mobile clinics at churches, mosques, and temples. To date, nearly 53,000 doses of vaccines have been administered at faith-based clinics, and an estimated 50,000 additional doses are expected to be administered at these clinics through early 2022. 

There are unique initiatives, including the TRAP Medicine’s barbershop outreach in South L.A, that are tailored to provide information to younger Black and Latinx men, many who are not yet vaccinated.  These partnerships and various other strategies have enabled in-person engagement with nearly 45,000 men in South L.A. since November 1 of this year.  Countywide, these targeted efforts have reached 300,000 men either virtually or in person over the last few months.

“Longstanding inequities in access to health affirming opportunities have played an important role in contributing to the higher case, hospitalization and death rates experienced by Black and Latinx communities over the course of the pandemic,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “To overcome these inequities, we need to work to address multiple challenges in the equitable distribution of the very resources we each need to be healthy: clean air and water, healthy foods, safe parks, affordable housing, good jobs, and quality healthcare. This is the work that we will need to do if we are serious about building trust with residents and workers across our communities. Our partnerships with community organizations have taught us the importance of strengthening relationships and aligning resources with those who have often been marginalized and left behind.” 

Public Health confirmed 18 additional deaths and 1,850 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 18 new deaths reported, three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49, five were between the ages of 50 and 64, four were between the ages of 65-79 and six were over the age of 80 years old. Of the 18 newly reported deaths, 14 had underlying conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 27,369.

Public Health has identified a total 1,551,117 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 1.2%. 

There are 751 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 9,628,444 individuals, with 15% of people testing positive. 

Public Health would like to remind residents that getting vaccinated or boosted remains critical as holiday traveling and gatherings begin.

Additionally, all residents across LA County should continue: 

Getting tested to help reduce the spread, especially if you traveled for the holidays, have had a possible exposure, or have symptoms

Adhering to masking requirements when indoors or at large outdoor mega events, regardless of vaccination status

Residents are also reminded that they are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and that vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are recommended for everyone 5 years old and older to help protect against COVID-19. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at all Public Health vaccination sites and many community sites where first, second, and third doses are available. 

To find a vaccination site near you, or to make an appointment, please visit: (English) or (Spanish). 

As of Dec. 15, Santa Monica had reported a total of 7,329 cases. ‘

Submitted by Public Health