Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline in Los Angeles County, health officials said on Saturday, September 25, providing some reassurance that the high vaccination rates and safety precautions at Labor Day celebrations followed major holidays. Helped to stop the general increase in cases experienced.
Health officials also reported Saturday that Los Angeles County had shifted from a “high” transmission level to a low-severe “substantial” level, based on thresholds from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of 86 new cases weekly. with the rate. per 100,000 residents. To reach the next lowest level – “moderate” transmission – the number of weekly cases to fall below 50 per 100,000.
The county reported 1,602 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, a slight increase from the day before, and 29 additional deaths – and a slight decrease from Friday. The county also saw another slight drop in coronavirus-related hospitalizations.
The number of hospitalizations has dropped by 17% compared to the previous week, and after a long plateau, there has also been a slight decline in deaths.
“While we are seeing significant gains in our efforts to reduce community spread of COVID-19,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement, “we cannot be complacent given the real risks posed by this virus.”
On Saturday, the number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals fell for the 24th time in the past 26 days, down from 956 to 947, according to state data.
The number of those patients in intensive care fell from 310 on Friday to 278.
During the peak of summer the number of hospitalizations related to the virus due to the Delta variant reached nearly 1,800.
Saturday’s test positivity rate was 1.3%.
Still, with autumn and winter fast approaching here, Ferrer said, people should be diligent.
“We still need to reduce the number of new cases,” she said, “so that we enter the fall and winter season in the best shape possible to avoid the devastation that happened last year.
“We typically see respiratory viruses flourish during cold weather and when we move activities indoors,” Ferrer said. “If we increase our vaccination rates, protect ourselves and others with masking, and use expanded testing to identify people who become infected early enough they can isolate and quarantine their close contacts. Well, we have a chance to survive another winter boom like last year. “
As of September 19, 92% of LA County residents age 65 or older had received at least one dose of the vaccine. And 78% of residents who were at least 16 years old and 77% of residents 12 years and older were partially or fully vaccinated. Sixty-eight percent of residents 12 years of age and older have been fully vaccinated.
Booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination, meanwhile, have officially become available to select residents in Los Angeles County, with federal health officials finalizing additional vaccine doses to protect against the virus for high-risk groups. has given.
“Eligible residents of Los Angeles County can begin receiving their booster doses at any of the hundreds of sites that offer Pfizer vaccines,” Ferrer said Friday. “The booster dose provides increased protection for those fully vaccinated with Pfizer vaccine six months prior to those who are at risk of getting COVID-19 and/or experiencing severe illness from COVID-19. increases.”
An advisory panel to the CDC on Thursday recommended Pfizer booster shots for people 65 and older, those in long-term care facilities and people 50-64 with underlying health conditions, as well as those 18-years-old with serious health problems. There are also select people in the age group of 49.
Booster shots are only available to people who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago. Boosters have not yet been approved for people receiving the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Appointments for booster shots can be made through the state’s MyTurn website. Appointments can also be made directly at pharmacies or clinics that provide Pfizer vaccines.
Ferrer noted that the county has 1,300 fixed vaccination sites along with 400 mobile clinics, meaning there is a local capacity to administer 130,000 shots per day, so the county is well positioned to handle the demand for booster shots. .