Troubling Increase in Deaths Due to COVID-19; Positivity Rate Among Students and School Staff Climbs to More than 14%
40,452 New Positive Cases and 39 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
LOS ANGELES, CA, Jan 12 – As the Omicron variant continues to spread across the county, today Public Health is reporting a total of 39 deaths, the highest number of new deaths since September 22nd when Public Health reported 41 new deaths. Of the 36 deaths for which Public Health has full data, 78% were in among those 65 years of age and older. All but one death occurred in January, likely reflecting an increase in deaths associated with the higher December case and hospitalization numbers.
As more students and staff returned to in-person learning this week, amid the surge in cases, routine testing at schools across many districts identified thousands of students and staff infected with COVID-19. For the week of January 3rd through January 9th, 547,466 tests were administered across school districts in the County, with most testing occurring for LAUSD students and staff. Last week, 80,424 positive cases were identified, including 68,560 cases among LAUSD staff and students, resulting in a test positivity rate of 14.6%. A total of three outbreaks among youth sports teams were also identified last week, with an additional 26 school related outbreaks still being monitored.
In response to this latest surge, Public Health is working closely with LACOE and school districts to implement additional layers of protection for staff and students. This includes delivering over 1.4 million test kits, which were provided by the state, to 84 school districts and charter schools, as well as, expanding contracted testing capacity at parochial and private schools. Additionally, exposure management and testing resources have been aligned to support safely allowing as many students and staff to remain in school during the surge.
“Our hearts remain with those families experiencing the sorrow of losing a loved one to COVID,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As schools reopen countywide, we are seeing a high number of students and staff testing positive reflecting the explosive rate of community spread. Given the importance of ensuring that our schools remain safe for in-person learning, layering in protections is a most sensible approach. Masking indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces reduces transmission opportunities; testing those who are close contacts of infected students or school staff can quickly identify others who may now be infected, and limit continued spread; and, making it easy for those eligible to get their booster doses helps ensure that immune systems are best primed to repel the virus. We are grateful for the hard work of school superintendents, labor partners and staff, parents and students to implement strategies that promote safety at schools.”
Today, Public Health confirmed 39 additional deaths and 40,452 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 39 new deaths reported today, one was between the ages of 30-49, seven people were between the ages of 50 and 64, 12 were between the ages of 65-79, and 16 were over the age of 80 years old. Of the 39 newly reported deaths, 33 had underlying conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 27,850.
Public Health has identified a total 2,086,581 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 20.4%.
There are 3,912 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 10,442,400 individuals, with 18% of people testing positive.
To keep workplaces and schools open, residents and workers are asked to:
Adhere to masking requirements when indoors or at crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Remain home when sick, isolate if positive and quarantine when in close contact.
Residents are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.
For updated isolation and quarantine guidance, please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are recommended for everyone 5 years old and older to help protect against COVID-19. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at all Public Health vaccination sites and many community sites where first, second, and third doses are available.