19 New Deaths and 1,142 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

L.A. County Prepared to Administer Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Boosters

LOS ANGELES, Calif. Oct 14 – Today and tomorrow, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is meeting to discuss the need for boosters for those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson or Moderna, and the committee today recommended approval of the Moderna booster dose. The committee will also review data on the safety and efficacy of ‘mixing and matching’ with a booster dose, which would involve receiving a different brand vaccine for the booster than that received for the original series.

Los Angeles County is prepared to administer Johnson & Johnson and Moderna boosters once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves and determines eligibility.

In Los Angeles County, 947,664 individuals completed the Moderna two-dose series and 298,497 completed the Johnson & Johnson single dose by April 10. Most of these individuals will be eligible for boosters once approved by the CDC.

With final CDC approval for boosters, the vast county-wide network is prepared to begin administering these additional boosters to all eligible as determined by the CDC directive.

Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirms 19 new deaths and 1,142 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 19 new deaths reported today, seven people who passed away were over the age of 80, two people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, three people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and seven people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. To date, Public Health has identified 1,474,518 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 26,372 deaths.

There are 698 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 28% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 8,833,000 individuals with 15% of people testing positive. Today’s test positivity rate is 1.0%.

The slight downward trend across all metrics has continued, with the County’s daily average case numbers decreasing 18% from 1,000 as of October 5, to now 925. Meanwhile, daily average hospitalizations are down to below 750, a 14% reduction from the prior week, and deaths decreased 25% to an average of 12 people passing away every day. Although we are thankful to see these numbers declining, we still have substantial transmission and will need to be vigilant if we want to reduce spread of the virus.

Given there is substantial transmission in L.A. County, K-12 schools remain focused on providing as much safety as possible for in-person learning. While there is a lot of evidence showing the protection vaccines offer, data on school cases and close contacts demonstrates the protective impact of other preventive measures, especially masking.

Last week, there were 591 student cases and nearly 2,400 student close contacts identified, a decrease of about 45% in both groups from the previous week. Among staff, there were 88 cases and 171 close contacts. Taking into account that the County has more than 1.7 million children and staff attending or working at over 3,000 schools countywide, these are strikingly low numbers. This amounts to 0.04% of students and staff testing positive and 0.2% identified as close contacts. The very low numbers represent a lot of hard work by superintendents, staff, parents, and students to consistently implement mitigation strategies. These efforts are making it possible to keep school communities safe.

Since August 16, the County has seen a total of 21 outbreaks in youth sports programs. Sixteen of those outbreaks have been associated with football, four were associated with cheerleading and dance teams, and one was associated with baseball. Overall, these outbreaks involved 394 cases and 1,527 contacts. Most of the infected individuals have been unvaccinated. Public Health continues to find that factors associated with spread include inconsistent masking, socialization on and off campus, inconsistent distancing in locker rooms and weight rooms, and shared transportation to and from events.

With the urgent need to avoid another devastating winter surge, new Health Officer Orders went into effect last week to create additional protections at high risk settings across the county. Bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, nightclubs and lounges, along with outdoor mega events with more than 10,000 people, are all implementing vaccine verification requirements. As a reminder masks are still required for everyone indoors and at all indoor and outdoor mega events.

“To everyone who has lost friends and family during this difficult time, we are wishing you peace and comfort, and our prayers remain with you,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We have seen excellent compliance with the new Health Officer Order to date and thank both the establishments and the patrons for taking this extra step to help us avoid a disastrous winter. I want to acknowledge that the operational challenges at large event venues are significant and we are grateful for their continued partnership. As the fall sports season gets into full swing, I know many of you will be headed to sports bars and our amazing local arenas to watch the big games. The best way to enjoy yourself safely is to be vaccinated and prepared to comply with the public health directives.”

Before going to your favorite sports bar, ensure you and any teens coming with you have had at least one dose of vaccine, if before November 4, or are fully vaccinated, if on or after November 4. Bring proof of vaccination and a photo ID for everyone in your party, and plan to wear masks indoors except when actively eating or drinking. Consider using the outdoor areas of the establishment to be extra safe.

If you’re headed to a local venue to see a live game, make sure you and any accompanying teens are fully vaccinated or have had a recent negative COVID-19 test. Plan to bring proof of vaccination or negative testing for everyone in your party, and photo identification for everyone 18 and over. And once you’re at the game, please wear masks except when actively eating or drinking.

Public Health encourages everyone unvaccinated for COVID-19 to get vaccinated now to be fully protected for the holidays. Vaccinations are widely available throughout L.A. County and are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at many sites and all Public Health vaccination sites where first, second, and third doses are available.

Vaccinated middle and high school students are eligible for free UCLA football tickets. UCLA has partnered with Public Health to give away free tickets to a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl to middle or high school students in L.A. County who’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while tickets last. Students aged 12 to 18 who’ve received at least one dose can sign up for the free tickets online by visiting: http://ph.lacounty.gov/DPHUCLAVaxforTix.

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated.

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