Public Health | L.A. County Prepares for Possible Move to Yellow Tier; Walk-Ins Extended at County Vaccination Sites

Los Angeles County's case rate remains relatively low and stable

MEDIA RELEASE

Friday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 42 new deaths and 416 new cases of COVID-19. Thirty-one deaths are cases newly identified as COVID-19 deaths that occurred 4-12 months ago. Of the 42 new deaths reported Friday, 17 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 15 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, seven 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 1,232,727 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,872 deaths.

There are 410 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 26% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 6,500,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Friday’s daily test positivity rate is 0.8%.

Los Angeles County’s case rate remains relatively low and stable. A month ago, on March 21, the County was seeing 433 cases a day. A month later, on April 21, the number of new cases dropped 34% to 337 cases a day. Over the same time period, daily average confirmed hospitalizations dropped 38%. Daily deaths dropped even more dramatically over the same time period, from 22 on March 21 to 4 on April 21, a drop of more than 80%.

L.A. County has remained in the State’s orange tier for more than three weeks and now has met the yellow tier’s criteria for one week. If, as anticipated, Los Angeles County continues to meet the State’s yellow tier criteria for one more week, the County could enter into the yellow tier in the middle of next week. Moving into the yellow tier allows for increases in capacity in many sectors, and allows bars to begin providing indoor service at 25% capacity. All of these changes will still require safety modifications, including masking, distancing and infection control to reduce the risk of transmission. The sectors with increases in capacity limits include amusement parks and fairs, gyms and fitness centers, yoga studios, private events, bars, hotels and short-term lodging rentals, private gatherings, breweries, indoor playgrounds, restaurants, cardrooms and racetracks, indoor and outdoor live events and performances, wineries and tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, and museums, zoos, and aquariums. If the County moves to the yellow tier next week, a modified Health Officer Order will be posted on Wednesday, May 5 that will go into effect on Thursday, May 6.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance indicating that vaccinated people can do many outdoor activities in uncrowded spaces unmasked including attending small gatherings with unvaccinated people, dining outdoors with friends from multiple households, and walking, running or cycling outdoors. Fully vaccinated individuals are required to mask up at crowded outdoor events, like live performances, parades, or sports events. The Health Officer Order will be updated Friday to align with the change in CDC recommendations around masking for fully vaccinated people.

Public Health has made vaccinations available without appointments at all of County sites for the past week, and this will continue through next week. Everyone 16 and older living or working in L.A. County can walk-in and get vaccinated. You should bring a photo ID with you and teens 16 and 17 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish) to learn how to make an appointment at vaccination sites, what verifications people will need to show at your vaccination appointment, and much more. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and families who are living through this tragedy. We are sending our love and prayers during your time of grief,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “With all the fear we’ve been living with over the past year, many of us may have forgotten what an incredibly fun place Los Angeles can be. We are so close to being able to reclaim that fun – and the ticket to doing that is getting ourselves, our friends, our families and our co-workers vaccinated. When we’ve gotten our vaccines and know everyone around is also vaccinated, we can feel safe enough to be close to them, to laugh and sing and dance with them, to enjoy them and the place where we live – without fear.”

Currently, 7,201,703 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of these, 4,562,211 were first doses and 2,639,492 were second doses. About 32% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated.

Two weeks ago, vaccine eligibility expanded to include teens 16 and 17, and now a full quarter of L.A. County’s teens in that age group have been vaccinated. The County has also seen huge numbers of seniors get vaccinated: 60% of adults 65 and older have been fully vaccinated, and 75% have received one dose of a vaccine. Along the beach and the west side, many communities have rates of vaccination upward of 60%. At the same time, vaccination rates remain below 30% in Antelope Valley, Lancaster and Palmdale, and in parts of east LA and south LA. High vaccination rates in many of our well-resourced communities reflect in part the advantages people have when transportation, time, computer and internet access, and work restrictions are not barriers to getting vaccinated.

While much work remains to be done to close these gaps, more than half of all doses that have been administered in L.A. County have gone to people who live in communities with less resources that promote optimal health and well-being. To help make it as easy as possible to obtain a vaccine in communities hit hardest by the pandemic, Public Health is targeting efforts to set up vaccination centers in the places central to these communities. Among these efforts are partnerships forming and continuing with schools to create vaccination centers. This week there are 41 school sites serving as vaccination sites.

A total of 716 sites are offering vaccinations this week in L.A. County. Many of these vaccination sites are concentrated in areas that have been hard hit by the pandemic and Public Health continues working with many partners to increase access to vaccinations at their sites without appointments.

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.