PUBLIC HEALTH MEDIA RELEASE
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 19 new deaths and 414 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 19 new deaths reported Thursday, five people that passed away were over the age of 80, nine people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, two people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49. Two deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach.
To date, Public Health identified 1,234,746 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,966 deaths.
There are 387 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 24% of these people are in the ICU. COVID-19 testing results are available for more than 6,546,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Thursday’s daily test positivity rate is 0.7%.
Los Angeles County’s case rate remains low and stable. On March 28, the County was seeing 424 cases a day. A month later, on April 28, the number of new cases dropped 35% to 276 cases a day. Over the same time interval, daily hospitalizations dropped 37%. Daily deaths dropped dramatically by 82% over the same time period, from 17 on March 28 to three on April 28.
As of May 2, more than 8,096,752 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of these, 5,013,679 were first doses and 3,083,073 were second doses. Overall, 39% of L.A. County residents are fully vaccinated. By age group two-thirds of seniors 65 and older and one-third of adults 16 to 64 are fully vaccinated.
Among people 65 and older, 82% have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Since February, the County increased the proportion of Black/African American adults over 65 who received at least one dose of the vaccine by over 200%, Latino/Latinx adults by 160%, American Indian and Alaska Native adults by over 150%, and Asian adults by over 108%.
Overall, 52% of residents 16 to 64 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Since February, the County’s biggest improvements in vaccination rates have been among members of Latinx (593%), Black (414%), and American Indian and Alaska Native (406%) communities, where the percent of adults with one dose of vaccine increased many times over.
When most of the community is vaccinated, and therefore immune from having or spreading a bad infection, transmission drops low enough that it becomes very unlikely the few unvaccinated people will have contact with an infected person and get sick. In the case of COVID-19, community immunity has the added benefit of reducing the chance that viral varants will emerge. The exact number the County needs to vaccinate to achieve community immunity is unknown– but what we do know is that reaching it requires everyone who can get vaccinated to do it.
“Our hearts go out to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one and wish you healing and peace during this most difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. ” We, like many of you, are enthusiastic about the opportunities to get out more and do the activities we love and missed. We have reopened most sectors to some degree – and with all of the re-openings, more intermingling is taking place among members of the community. Transmission, can happen more easily and is more likely where there are crowds and unvaccinated people particularly indoors. We also must be aware that the more this virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to mutate – and the more it mutates, the greater the chance there will be a variant that can spread more quickly or cause more harm to the people it infects. Think of vaccines as a layer of protection against all of these risks. If we get enough vaccinations in enough arms across this county with enough speed, we can protect ourselves and others from these risks, while we get back to doing many of things we love without being afraid.”
Changes to the Health Officer Order took effect Thursday, reflecting the County’s move into the yellow tier allowing for increased occupancy limits across a wide range of sectors with required safety modifications.
Fitness facilities, indoor dining, cardrooms and racetracks, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, breweries, wineries, and craft distilleries can expand indoor occupancy to 50%. Bars establishments are now allowed to open for indoor services at a maximum capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer, with no counter seating/service. Amusement parks and fairs can increase capacity to 35%, and waterparks can expand to 40% capacity. Museums and aquariums can increase indoor capacity to 75%. Outdoor live performances and events can increase occupancy to 67% of capacity, while the occupancy limits at indoor live events depend on the total capacity of each venue and the vaccination and testing status of attendees.
Other sectors where capacity limits have increased include: private informal gatherings, where the occupancy limit has increased to 50% capacity or 50 people if indoors, whichever is fewer; outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people. At community sporting events, participation is restricted to 500 people per hour and a total of 1,500 people; if everyone is vaccinated or has tested negative at an outdoor community sporting event, the capacity increases to 3000 people. Office-based businesses and workspaces should limit occupancy to 75% of capacity, unless all staff are vaccinated. Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect at worksites per CalOSHA requirements. At indoor malls, shopping centers, retail stores, hair salons, barbershops, personal care providers, libraries, and limited services, capacity remains limited to 75% to allow for at least 6 feet of distancing among staff and customers.
The Health Officer Order requires other modifications across a wide range of sectors. These are modifications focused on infection control, distancing and mask wearing. At all establishments serving food or drink, masking is mandated, except when eating or drinking. Distancing between tables is also still required and counter seating and service is not allowed. Television viewing is now permitted indoors, while live entertainment along with television is permitted outdoors.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available at County-run sites and many community sites without an appointment. Visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish) to find a vaccination site near you, to make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more. 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.