As Schools Reopened with Testing, Masking, Infection Control and Outbreak Management Protocols in Place, Case Rates Decline 30% Among County Children
49 New Deaths and 2,218 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
LOS ANGELES, Calif.- On Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12, Public Health will make improvements to the data processing systems which will result in no new data being reported on those days. Neither the collection of this data nor outbreak investigations will be affected by this pause in reporting; however, no press releases will be issued during this system’s upgrade.
While case rates increased among children in all age groups between mid-July and mid-August, cases have declined by about 30% in all age groups among children (0-4, 5-11, and 12-17 years old) over the past two weeks. The decrease is similar to the decreases we are seeing in cases among adult residents and occurred as many schools reopened with testing, masking, infection control and outbreak management protocols in place. Over the past week, children under 18 comprised, on average, 27% of all cases seen in L.A. County.
Among L.A. County teens 12 to 17 years old, more than half of whom are vaccinated, we see just how powerfully protective the vaccines really are. As of August 28, the case rate among unvaccinated 12 to 17-year-olds was 424 cases among every 100,000 unvaccinated children in this age group compared with 51 cases among 100,000 of those vaccinated. Among groups ineligible for vaccination, the case rate was 130 per 100,000 children aged 0 to 4, and 230 per 100,000 children aged 5 to 11.
As of September 5, 62% of L.A. County residents 12 to 15 years old received at least one dose of vaccine, while 51% were fully vaccinated. Sixty-nine percent of residents 16 to 17 years old received at least one dose, and 59% were fully vaccinated.
In K-12 school settings countywide, between August 15 and September 7, 7,784 student cases and 1,250 staff cases were reported, with the vast majority occurring at LAUSD, which tests everyone weekly. The second highest number of cases came from other K-12 schools in L.A. County. With more than 1.5 million students and 175,000 staff countywide (by last year’s counts), 0.5% of the student body and 0.7% of staff have become infected since school districts reopened. This is slightly higher than the 0.4% rate of infection experienced overall in the County.
Many school sites (1,032 schools) are now reporting three or more cases. Five hundred and seventy school sites reported one case and 260 school sites reported two cases. As these numbers are cumulative, it is not surprising to see cases accumulate in schools. Every case identified at a school needs to isolate at home away from others for 10 days from their symptom onset or test date. Their close contacts are identified and, if unvaccinated, they are required to quarantine.
Public Health investigated eight outbreaks during the week of August 22 and six last week, with most outbreaks now taking place in elementary schools. The small number of confirmed outbreaks is very low and a positive sign that mitigation efforts may be very effective at reducing transmission. Nonetheless, we anticipate an upward trend in outbreaks as more schools are open.
Today, Public Health confirms 49 new deaths and 2,218 new cases of COVID-19. The number of new cases reported today is an undercount due to missing test results from one lab. Of the 49 new deaths reported today, 13 people who passed away were over the age of 80, 13 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 15 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and seven people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach. To date, Public Health identified 1,425,806 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 25,563 deaths.
There are 1,385 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 30% of these people are in the ICU. This is a decrease of 288 daily hospitalizations in one week.
Testing results are available for nearly 8,300,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive. Today’s test positivity rate is 3.4%.
“To everyone who has lost a friend or loved one to COVID-19, we send you our deepest condolences,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We support the actions taken by the Los Angeles Unified School District and other schools and school districts to add an additional layer of protection at schools through a sensible school vaccine requirement for eligible students. Vaccination remains one of the quickest and most powerful ways to decrease community transmission and prevent serious illness, which helps keep students, teachers, and staff in school, and the COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. Public Health will continue to work closely with school districts as they take critical actions to protect students and staff from a dangerous and highly infectious virus.”
Public Health is encouraging students and parents eager to have more information about COVID-19 and to help educate others in their communities about COVID-19 on how to create safety at school and at home, to join the Parent and Student Ambassador Programs. Parents and students who sign up will receive free training from L.A. County educators on COVID-19, support for school-based activities, and a certificate of completion at the end of the program. Orientation for the parent program will take place on September 15, 2021 from 5:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m., and Public Health is accepting registrations on a rolling basis. So far, 120 parents have signed up, representing roughly 98 different schools ranging from preschool to high school. Public Health is also enrolling students for an upcoming student ambassador program orientation. More information including how to sign up for parents and students is available online or you can email TK12ambassador@ph.lacounty.gov.
Public Health has a new feature on its interactive vaccine website, VaccinateLAcounty.com, that allows people to look at the proportion of school aged residents who are vaccinated by school district. Public Health will be rolling out a school data dashboard later this month that will enable residents to easily see daily counts of cases and contacts at any school in the county.
Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Many vaccination sites across the county, including all the County-run sites, are also offering third doses of vaccine to eligible immunocompromised people. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
Visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish) to find a vaccination site near you, make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more. 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.