The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed 18 new deaths and 337 new cases of COVID-19, Monday. The lower number of cases and deaths may reflect reporting delays over the weekend. To date, Public Health identified 1,229,311 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,641 deaths.
COVID-19 case numbers have stabilized over the past few weeks. On April 11, the county saw a daily average of 414 reported cases, down 98% from 15,933 at the peak of the surge. Hospitalizations decreased to 478, down 94% from their peak daily average of 8,065 during the surge, and average daily deaths declined 97% from a peak of 274 average daily deaths to 7.
There are 470 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for nearly 6,330,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Monday’s daily test positivity rate is 0.9%.
More than 6,000,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of these, 4,080,126 were first doses and 2,239,672 were second doses. Over 4 million people have some additional protection against COVID-19 and over 2 million people are fully protected. More than 70% of L.A. County residents 65 and older received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Countywide, 711 vaccination sites are open this week and administering Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, including two new sites in Palmdale and Santa Clarita, the Palmdale Oasis Park Recreation Center and the College of the Canyons. There are still appointments available at these sites for this week.
Since the CDC and FDA announced the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s administration on April 13, 70% of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses have been replaced with Pfizer and Moderna doses. There may be an announcement at the end of this week about the vaccine’s safety from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. L.A. County will follow the CDC and FDA directives on when it is safe to resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The CDC announced last week that about 5,800 breakthrough infections have been identified nationwide out of 77 million fully vaccinated people; this means that about 1 out of every 10,000 people vaccinated test positive for the virus. Among individuals fully vaccinated, less than 1 in a million have died. Currently, across the US, about 1 in every 56 people infected with COVID-19 have passed away from their infections. Before vaccines were available, about 1.8% of people who were infected with COVID-19 died of their infections. If we extrapolate these findings to L.A. County, and everyone in the county was fully vaccinated, the County would have only 753 breakthrough COVID-19 infections and 8 deaths. This is why getting everyone vaccinated is so important.
Of the 18 new deaths reported Monday, six people that passed away were over the age of 80, 10 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49.
“We are sending our love and prayers to those who have lost friends and family during this time of tragedy. Our thoughts are with you,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We in Los Angeles are in a good place right now – and we have an opportunity to chart a different course from the one we’re seeing play out in other parts of the country. But we can only do it together. We know how well a simple mask works to protect both children and adults, and how critically important it is for each of us to do our part to protect each other by getting vaccinated as soon as we are able to. There’s never been more proof of how important it is for us to take care of each other, especially now that so many of us are getting back to work and school.”
Over the past few weeks, many L.A. County schools began a staged reopening. Currently, 77% of public school districts are open, as are 43% of private and charter schools; this means that more than 1,600 schools are open for in-classroom instruction. An additional 5 public school districts and 113 private and charter schools have approved plans to reopen. On random site visits from the Public Health Schools Technical Assistance Team, school compliance with Public Health safety protocols was very high: half of all schools had perfect compliance, while an additional 45% had higher than 80% compliance. This is great news for students and school staff, and we appreciate the hard work of everyone in our schools to keep each other safe and healthy.
From the beginning of the school year through April 15, the County has seen only a handful of outbreaks in schools since the surge. All of the five active outbreaks in L.A. County schools that are currently under investigation are associated with participation in youth sports – not with attending instructional school. We know that masking and distancing are a challenge in sports, and that socializing during these activities off-school-campus could be a factor in viral transmission among these groups. That’s why it’s important for young people 16 and 17 to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The data indicates three things: The tools deployed in safety protocols at schools are incredibly powerful, even though they’re fairly simple, masking and social distancing really work. Second, when it comes to COVID-19, students have good protection as long as safety protocols are followed. And lastly, COVID-19 transmission in school staff is driven not so much by their exposure to the infection at school, but primarily by exposure in the community. Whenever community transmission rates were high, there were more cases at schools.
Teens 16 and older are now eligible for vaccinations and can be vaccinated at any site that administers Pfizer vaccines. This includes many county and city run mass vaccination sites and hundreds of pharmacies, community vaccination events, and health clinics, including those affiliated with major health systems like Kaiser, UCLA Health, and federally qualified health clinics. Teens 16 and 17 will need to need to be accompanied to their vaccination appointment with a legal guardian who can give consent.
Everyone living or working in L.A. County 16 and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. To learn how to make an appointment, what verifications patients will need to show at your vaccination appointment, 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. Please know there may be an extended wait time to speak with an operator for help making an appointment due to high demand. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
Kaiser Permanente is offering vaccine appointments at all of their facilities, whether you are a member or not. Call 1-833-KP4CARE or visit their website at KP.org/covidvaccine to make an appointment.
County Reopening Protocols, 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.