3,312 New Positive Cases and 67 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb 17 – Today, Public Health confirmed 67 additional deaths and 3,312 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 67 new deaths reported today, one person was between the ages of 30-49, six were between the ages of 50-64, 26 were between the ages of 65-79, and 25 were aged 80 years or older. Of the 67 newly reported deaths, 49 had underlying health conditions. Information on the five deaths reported by the City of Long Beach and four reported by the City of Pasadena is available at www.LongBeach.gov and www.CityofPasadena.net To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 30,146

Public Health has reported a total of 2,772,569 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 2.9%.

There are 1,713 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,316,500 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.

With the winter surge subsiding, Public Health reminds residents that vaccinations and masking remain important effective layers of protection, especially in school settings and crowded spaces.

As of February 10, 34% of 5-11-year-olds and 84% of 12–17-year-olds had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 26% of 5–11-year-olds and 76% 12–17-year-olds were fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated children ages 5-11, were 2.5 times more likely to be infected when compared to those who were fully vaccinated. For those ages 12-17, vaccinated teens were almost 3 times less likely to be infected when compared to those who were unvaccinated.

Similarly, hospitalizations were also higher for unvaccinated children in both youth age groups 5-11 and 12-17. Unvaccinated children 5-11 were at three times higher risk of hospitalization when compared to fully vaccinated children. And unvaccinated teens 12-17 were four times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated teens.

Between February 7 and 11, nearly 477,000 tests were administered at TK-12 schools across the county; test positivity declined by 90% since the beginning of January to 1.5%. This remarkable decline likely reflects lower rates of community transmission as well as the impact of mitigation strategies that schools are using to reduce transmission.

When looking at the number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff in K-12 schools by grade level, the largest number of cases have been among elementary school students, followed by high school and then middle school students. The week of January 10-16, there were over 21,000 cases reported among elementary school students, over 11,000 reported among high school students, and 9,200 among middle school students. By the week of February 7-13, cases had dropped to 1,650 for elementary school students, 810 for high school students, and 648 for middle school students.

The number of school outbreaks currently being investigated also declined to a total of 46, down from 56 that were under investigation last week. This includes eight new outbreaks (5 in elementary schools, one in middle school, and two in youth sports) between February 6-12.

The decision to require masks in schools, along with the other mitigation safety measures likely helped to successfully limit the number of school disruptions in LA County during the Omicron surge. Public Health is aware of only eight learning disruptions across LA County at the district level in 2022. Three school districts had selected school closures and the others had a delayed opening or non-instructional day. In each case, the school or district, not Public Health, made the decision to take this action based on staffing and safety concerns.

“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of 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. “Indoor masking requirements at schools, which remain in effect per the state order for at least another few weeks, continue to be an effective part of a comprehensive school safety program. As we have seen over the past few months, wearing a face mask or respirator in indoor public settings is associated with significantly lower chances of testing positive for COVID-19, and masking requirements in schools have been associated with lower numbers of outbreaks. As we think about ‘post-surge’ strategies, the focus remains on ensuring our schools have the tools and resources to offer safe learning environments for staff, teachers, and students. As always, we are grateful for the hard work of parents, students, administrators, staff, and teachers to diligently implement mitigation strategies that promote safety at schools.”

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