PUBLIC HEALTH RELEASE
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) continues to work with skilled nursing facilities to ensure their eligible residents and staff receive COVID boosters.
The majority of skilled nursing facilities have established relationships with long term care pharmacies who will be supporting the provisions of booster doses to eligible residents. Beginning this week, skilled nursing facilities will be surveyed weekly to collect information on implementation of strategies to ensure eligible residents can receive booster doses. Public Health is working to address any barriers in requesting, receiving and administering boosters, and deploying mobile vaccine teams to assist any skilled nursing facility requiring help.
For the week ending October 17, 56 people tested positive for COVID-19 at skilled nursing facilities: 44 new cases were among skilled nursing facility residents, and 12 new cases were among skilled nursing facility staff. Fifty-five percent of new cases the week ending October 17 at skilled nursing facilities are among staff and residents that are fully vaccinated.
Skilled nursing facilities report that 95% of staff and 88% of residents are fully vaccinated. Skilled nursing facilities are subject to strict infection control precautions and are also required to verify the vaccine status of all workers and conduct routine testing of staff and residents. All staff at skilled nursing facilities are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19; those with an approved medical or religious exemption need to be tested once or twice weekly.
Wednesday, Public Health confirms 11 new deaths and 909 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 11 new deaths reported, one person who passed away was over the age of 80, four people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, four people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach. To date, Public Health has identified 1,487,502 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 26,578 deaths.
There are 650 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 28% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 9,010,000 individuals with 15% of people testing positive. Wednesday’s test positivity rate was 1.2%.
“To the families and friends experiencing the sadness and grief of losing a loved one to COVID-19, our thoughts and prayers are with you every day,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We continue to work with skilled nursing facilities across the county to ensure that these vulnerable residents have good access to booster doses as soon as possible. We urge others eligible for booster doses, particularly those at higher risk for severe illness if infected, to take advantage of the enhanced protection boosters provide, especially before the holiday gatherings that create more opportunities for COVID-19 to spread.”
Boosters are available for eligible individuals for all three FDA-approved vaccines; Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Residents who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may get a booster at least two months after the single dose. Residents who received the second of a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna series at least 6 months ago are also eligible for a booster dose if they are:
- 65 years and older OR
- Age 18 and older who live in long-term care settings OR
- Age 18 and older who have underlying medical conditions OR
- Age 18 and older who work or live in high-risk settings
All eligible individuals are allowed to choose a different brand from their original vaccine as a booster. Residents can make an appointment for their booster by using MyTurn.CA.gov or the County website at VaccinateLACounty.com and for more information about booster shots. Additionally, many pharmacies and clinics countywide may be accepting appointments through their own systems.
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 where first, second, and third doses are available.
To find a vaccination site near you, 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, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound.
Vaccinated middle and high school students are eligible for free UCLA football tickets. UCLA has partnered with Public Health to give away free tickets to a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl to middle or high school students in L.A. County who’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while tickets last. Students aged 12 to 18 who’ve received at least one dose can sign up for the free tickets online by visiting: http://ph.lacounty.gov/DPHUCLAVaxforTix.
COVID-19 Sector Protocols, Best Practices, COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, 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.