On Friday, November 19, the number of COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles County hospitals fell below 600, but health officials continue to worry about a possible rise in the number of cases due to the approaching winter holidays.
County hospitals had 584 COVID patients as of Friday, up from 611 on Thursday, according to government data. 144 of those hospitalized were in intensive care, up from 148 a day earlier.
Another 26 deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Friday, bringing the county’s death toll to 26,973. The county’s public health department also announced 1,612 new infections, although 390 of those cases were the result of a backlog of positive test results, some of which date back to November 2020.
As a result of recently announced cases, the total number of pandemic cases in the county was 1,516,901.
The rolling average daily number of people testing positive for the virus also remained low at 0.9%.
Health officials at the local and national levels continue to fear a sharp increase in the number of cases due to the upcoming winter holidays, as well as colder weather, which will lead to an increase in the number of indoor meetings.
County public health director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday that the county appears to have avoided a spike in post-Halloween cases, attributing the success to the large number of vaccinated residents and other precautions.
But she said the number of cases is on the rise in many western states and in Europe, giving early warning of what might lie ahead if people become lax about virus prevention.
On Friday, Ferrer urged residents to receive booster doses of the vaccine.
“While vaccines continue to provide significant protection against the virus, data now show that vaccine efficacy diminishes over time so much that it is important to get an extra dose to better protect against the virus,” she said. “Because booster doses are currently available to anyone who received a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago or received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago, it is important that healthcare providers and their caregivers take advantage of the this advantage. easy access to these additional doses.
“With 4.8 million residents eligible for booster vaccinations, we hope that many more people will receive this additional dose before Thanksgiving.”
Ferrer said Thursday that current data show unvaccinated people are nine times more likely to get infected than vaccinated people and 67 times more likely to be hospitalized.
Ferrer said 82% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 73% are fully vaccinated. Of the district’s total population of 10.3 million, 71% have received at least one dose and 63% are fully vaccinated.
She said the number of people who received the first dose of the vaccine last week has skyrocketed, primarily due to increased availability of the vaccine for children aged 5-11.
Blacks still have the lowest vaccination rate at 54%, followed by Hispanics at 59%, whites at 72% and Asians at 80%.
Of the approximately 5.99 million residents who were fully vaccinated as of Nov.16, Ferrer said 75,249 have subsequently tested positive for the virus, representing 1.26%. Of the vaccinated population, 2528 were hospitalized, which is 0.042%, and 422 died, which is 0.007%.