1,184 New Positive Cases and 25 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County Enters Low Community Level as COVID-19 Case, Hospitalization Rates Decline

AMTV/LOS ANGELES, CA, Jan 20 – Today, The L.A. County Department of Public Health reported 25 additional deaths and 1,184 new positive cases. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 35,104. There are 844 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized.

Los Angeles County has made good progress in reducing COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations, returning to the CDC designated Low Community Level this week for the first time since November 2022. The 7-day average case rate has dropped to 71 new cases per 100,000 people. The 7-day total for new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people is 9.5 and the 7-day average of the proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is 5.8%.

In the Low Community Level, masking for many people at many indoor sites is an individual preference with these exceptions:

Masking is still always required in healthcare and congregate care settings, per the state health officer order.
Indoor masking is required for anyone exposed to COVID-19 for 10 days after their last exposure to a confirmed case.
Everyone should mask where it is required by the site, including businesses, schools, and workplaces.
Masking remains strongly recommended on public transit, and in all indoor spaces for people who are at elevated risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19, and those who may be exposed to large numbers of people in their job or work in very crowded places. A high quality, well-fitting, respirator mask, such as an N95, KN95, or KF94, provides the best protection.

However, with elevated risks of severe illness, hospitalization, and death for people who are more vulnerable, and to remain at the lower community level, residents should continue to consider using appropriate protective measures including masking when indoors, seeking treatment when ill, and getting the updated bivalent booster.

Mounting research and clinical evidence has shown that vaccines provide significant protection from severe illness. In Los Angeles County, people who were unvaccinated were nearly seven times more likely to be hospitalized and nine times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who were fully vaccinated and received the bivalent booster.

Hospitalization rates for the 30-day-period ending Jan. 3 were more than three times higher for people who were unvaccinated compared to people who were vaccinated without the updated booster. For those vaccinated without the updated booster, hospitalizations were 2.2 times higher than for people who had additionally received the updated booster.

Similar comparisons for death rates over the 30-day-period ending Dec. 27 are also quite sobering. People who were unvaccinated had death rates that were more than four times greater than people who were vaccinated without the updated bivalent booster. And, for people who were vaccinated without the updated booster, the rate of death was more than two times higher than people who had received the updated bivalent booster.

The bivalent booster, widely available in Los Angeles County since September, is formulated to provide increased protection against the COVID-19 Omicron variant and its sublineages. Unfortunately, just 22% of eligible people in Los Angeles County have received the updated booster.

“This week we crossed the heartbreaking milestone of recording over 35,000 COVID-related deaths among Los Angeles County residents. I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost a loved one to COVID and I offer wishes for healing and peace,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Moving into Low Community level is significant and reflects reduced risk; but it doesn’t mean no risk and certainly for those who are more vulnerable, risk remains significant. Low Community level is not a promise, and it doesn’t signal the end of the pandemic – we will have to wait to see how metrics continue to change over the coming weeks. It does show that we know a lot more about COVID-19, including what works and how to effectively use the tools we have. My hope is that people will continue to be smart about navigating life with this virus and that we are truly entering a new phase.”

Los Angeles County is currently reporting lower COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, yet deaths remain consistently high since late December.

The 7-day average case count in the county is 1,045, a 41% decrease from one week ago when the 7-day average of 1,776 cases was reported. And over the past seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals is 957, a 13% decrease from last week when the average number of COVID-positive patients per day was 1,106.

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