LOS ANGELES — As the number of new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate in Southern California continue to decline, more programs are available for people to better access tests, masks and financial support.
There were 23,796 new cases in Los Angeles County on Jan. 27, up from 43,091 the previous Friday, according to the County Department of Public Health.
To help students with learning difficulties, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched a program this week that allows students to earn money by teaching their younger siblings or school-aged relatives in their family.
“The pandemic has hit young Angelenos especially hard, who are facing so many challenges in life and school,” Garcetti said in a January 25 statement. “With Student 2 Student Success, we ensure that younger students receive the extra support they need and provide our educators with the opportunity to explore future careers in education or childcare.”
The program will provide approximately 1,000 young Angelino residents with paid work experience and skills training. Garcetti wrote on Twitter..
In Orange County on January 28, 4,751 people tested positive. Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations has dropped to 1,022, with 29 deaths reported, according to the county health agency.
Over the past holiday season, county residents have struggled to find self-test kits and available testing spots at local pharmacies and testing centers. More pop-up COVID-19 testing centers are now available to visitors, but some may be unlicensed and unauthorized.
Orange County health agency received reports of fraudulent testing transactions. The agency encourages the public to always request laboratory information and medical data when visiting a pop-up testing center.
Omicron’s winter surge has also prompted government officials to take additional action to help people who can’t work and are struggling financially due to illness.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers made the announcement again this week, requiring employers to offer their employees up to two weeks of extra paid sick leave to support their families.
“By extending sick leave for frontline workers with COVID and supporting California businesses, we can help protect the health of our workforce, as well as ensure that businesses and our economy thrive,” the January 25 announcement said.
Employees will have access to additional paid leave due to COVID-19 through September 30, 2022.
California residents are also eligible to receive free COVID-19 home testing kits. People who need a test kit can order one from the US Postal Service website with their address. Each household can receive four free home testing kits, usually delivered within 7-12 days.
States indoor mask mandate has been extended until February 15 to minimize cases of COVID-19 infection.
The federal government has launched a free mask program, giving away free N95 masks at local pharmacies and community health centers.