LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb 2 – Schools across the county continue implementing safety measures that are helping to drive down several COVID metrics among students and staff. For the week of January 24-28, schools conducted 486,616 tests that resulted in 21,472 positive tests (with 14,872 positive tests from LAUSD). This is a 47% decrease from the 40,694 positive tests from the week prior. The test positivity rate also decreased by 37% to 4.4% compared to 7% for the week prior.
While test positivity and the number of positive tests in schools continue to decline, the number of outbreaks increased slightly. As of January 31, there were 52 active school outbreaks, including 18 new outbreaks (14 in elementary schools, three in youth sports, and one in a high school) between January 23-29. Although the number of new outbreaks in schools rose, the number is relatively modest thanks to school-based safety measures, including masking and testing, that reduce spread.
Public Health continues working with schools across the county to implement a comprehensive strategy that includes over 900 school-based vaccine clinics scheduled for February where first, second and third doses will be available. Additionally, Public Health has begun distributing an additional 1 million home test kits this week to public, charter, and independent/private schools in areas of high need through partnerships with the LA County Office of Education and Heluna Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also approved an additional 615,000 professional rapid tests for LA County schools through the White House rapid test kit program and the state is delivering over 170,000 at-home test kits this week to be distributed to schools.
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the license for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after a thorough evaluation of the quality, safety, and effectiveness data by a panel of scientific and medical experts. The vaccine is now fully approved for use in people 18 and older. Since the Moderna vaccine received FDA emergency use authorization on December 18, 2020, more than 204 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the US according to data from the CDC.
“We send our deepest sympathies and wishes for peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We hope that with full approval of the Moderna vaccine, which follows full approval a few months back of the Pfizer vaccine, residents and workers are reassured about the safety and effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines distributed in the United States. Our county data continues to demonstrate the protections offered by vaccination and the importance of using vaccines to reduce the spread and limit the ability of virus replication that could result in problematic variants. To date, we’re closing in on nearly one million children across all LA County who’ve safely received the vaccine. We urge parents and students to attend one of the 900 school-based vaccination clinics this month if they are not yet vaccinated or need a booster dose.”
Today, Public Health confirmed 102 additional deaths and 15,664 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 102 new deaths reported today, two people were between the ages of 30 and 49, 18 were between the ages of 50 and 64, 37 were between the ages of 65-79, and 41 were over the age of 80 years old. Of the 102 newly reported deaths, 88 had underlying conditions. Information on the four deaths reported by the City of Long Beach is available at www.LongBeach.gov To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 29,099.
Public Health has identified a total 2,683,644 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 8.8%.
There are 3,515 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,091,800 individuals, with 22% 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 are vaccinated. Close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.