Vaccinated People Remain Well Protected from Severe COVID-19 Illness | Public Health

Los Angeles County to align with state on vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEASE

As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) highlights data showing that vaccinated people remain exceptionally well protected from severe COVID-19 illness.

There are 1,503 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. In late July, about 94 people newly admitted to a hospital each day were positive for COVID-19; of these 88%, were unvaccinated.

Among the more than 5.1 million fully vaccinated people in L.A. County, Public Health identified less than 1% or 15,628 people fully vaccinated who tested positive for COVID-19 as of August 3. Of those who tested positive, 446 were hospitalized. This translates to 0.009% of all fully vaccinated people ending up hospitalized. Deaths in this group are also very low at 0.0008%, representing 41 people fully vaccinated that tragically passed away. This compelling evidence shows that fully vaccinated people remain at low risk for becoming infected and even lower risk for having a bad outcome if they are infected.

Now is a particularly critical time to increase vaccination uptake given the high level of community transmission.

Healthcare workers have been among the County’s highest-risk populations for COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic. As PPE became more widely available and vaccinations increased among healthcare workers, their infection rates declined earlier this year. However, the County is now seeing transmission rise in this group: Between July 25 and July 31, 268 healthcare workers and first responders tested positive for COVID-19.

Healthcare workers are not uniformly vaccinated, and while consistent use of respirators and PPE reduces the likelihood of transmission within healthcare settings, unvaccinated workers are still at higher risk for being infected in their communities when community transmission is high. Because many healthcare workers have close contact with very vulnerable patients, it is therefore of particular importance to prevent infection in healthcare workers: the better protected they are, the safer it is for the vulnerable people they care for, and the easier it is to ensure that healthcare facilities are able to remain fully staffed during the pandemic.

Given the need to protect healthcare workers and the populations they care for, Los Angeles County will issue a Health Officer Order to align with State Orders that mandate vaccinations for healthcare workers by September 30. The County Order will also include three additional groups of healthcare workers: emergency medical technicians and paramedics, home healthcare workers, and dental practice employees. Over the coming weeks, the County will work collaboratively and closely with healthcare and labor partners to develop an effective education and implementation strategy.

Tuesday, Public Health confirmed 22 new deaths and 2,622 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 22 new deaths reported, five people who passed away were over the age of 80, five people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, five people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, five people died were between the ages of 30 and 49, and two people who died were between the ages of 18 and 29. To date, Public Health identified 1,331,859 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,805 deaths.

Testing results are available for nearly 7,530,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive. Tuesday’s test positivity rate is 4.6%.

“We share our deepest condolences with all those who are grieving the loss of friends, loved ones, and family, and we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We favor COVID-19 vaccination for everyone eligible because of the mounting evidence that these vaccines are effective and safe and provide the most powerful tool for ending the pandemic. That is why we work so hard to ensure barrier free access to vaccinations. This is also why we favor targeted vaccination mandates, since this is the tool that offers us the most protection from spread of COVD-19. High rates of vaccination allow us to remain fully open and protect those not yet eligible or able to get vaccinated.”

Wednesday, August 11, at 6:00 p.m., Public Health will host a Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19. Join the town hall to get the latest updates on COVID-19. The town hall will be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @lapublichealth. For more information and to submit a question, visit: TinyURL.com/LACountyTownHall.

If you are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine but have not yet been vaccinated, consider getting vaccinated now. L.A. County continues to offer vaccines at many different sites across the county to make it as easy as possible for eligible L.A. County residents to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. 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.

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.