COVID cases soar across L.A. County

With local COVID-19 infection numbers surging upward, topping 1,000 new cases for the fifth straight day, Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday lamented continued resistance to vaccines while health officials announced an outreach effort to bring shots to people’s doors.

The county reported 1,103 new COVID cases on Tuesday, lifting the cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 1,259,772. The county also reported 12 new fatalities due to the virus, increasing the death toll to 24,554.

The rolling seven-day average rate of people testing positive for the virus was 2.9% as of Tuesday, up from 2.8% on Monday and well above the 0.3% rate from mid-June.

State figures, meanwhile, showed that hospitalizations due to COVID in Los Angeles County were pushing the 400 mark, reaching 398. That was up from 376 on Monday. There were 94 people in intensive care, up from 85 a day earlier.

While the hospitalization numbers are still relatively low compared to the patient totals during the winter surge that reached 8,000, the slow and steady increase in recent weeks is sparking concern among health officials, who say the increase highlights the importance of vaccinations.

“Even without the same level of threat to the health care system that we experienced during the surge, these rising cases among all groups and the disproportionately higher rates among Black and Latinx residents are both concerning and require continued actions to prevent spread and poor outcomes among those who have already suffered the most during this pandemic,” county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis told the Board of Supervisors.

“It’s clear the threat of COVID-19 is still with us, and that we are dealing with a more infectious variant that causes it. And the best collective action that each of us can take is to get vaccinated … and take sensible precaution if you are not eligible or choose not to be vaccinated.”

The county’s medical services director, Dr. Christina Ghaly, told the supervisors Tuesday that none of the county-operated hospitals have admitted a single COVID-19 patient who was fully vaccinated.

“Every single patient that we’ve admitted for COVID has been not yet fully vaccinated, and that’s hard for the health-care workers to see,” Ghaly said. “They’ve spent hours, effort, energy trying to care for patients, and at this point this really is a preventable illness, a preventable infection.”

County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said people who refuse to get vaccinated aren’t considering the impact they are having on health care workers.

“I really want to continue to express a prayer to all of those who are not vaccinated to understand the impact that they have, not only on their communities and their families, but other people in their communities who are the health care workers, who are the people toiling more than 14, 15, 16 hours a day to take care of them when they don’t want to take care of themselves,” Kuehl said.

“I’m sorry to sound a little angry, but it just strikes me as enormously selfish. We can’t rely on herd immunity if the herd won’t get their shots.”

Supervisor Hilda Solis called Kuehl’s comments “very on point,” and Supervisor Janice Hahn concurred with her “heartfelt angst over all those who are not getting vaccinated.”

Surging case numbers are largely being blamed on the highly infectious “Delta” variant of the COVID-19 virus. Davis again noted that Black and Latino residents — who have the lowest vaccination rates in the county — are bearing the brunt of increases in new cases and rising hospitalizations.

Davis said the county has started a pilot project that works through contact-tracers to deliver vaccines to people’s homes, starting in East Los Angeles, which has a low rate of vaccinations.

“The purpose of this project is to vaccinate close contacts of COVID- 19 cases,” Davis said.

When close contacts of people who contract the virus are reached by county officials, they are offered the opportunity to get the shot from a nurse who comes to their home.

“This happens once they’re identified and if they’re willing to be vaccinated,” Davis said.

He said the program also offers “to vaccinate their contacts as well, in order to create a ring of people around them that are fully vaccinated.”

The program began Friday in East Los Angeles, but could be expanded to other areas with low vaccination rates if it proves successful.

Davis continued to urge adherence to mask-wearing guidance at workplaces and other public settings. He also urged people to reconsider travel plans as cases are surging.

“I do want to recommend, especially if you’re unvaccinated, you reconsider traveling to places where the seven-day COVID-19 case rates are increasing or high, like Nevada, our neighbor, or Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana and others,” he said. “… Every action counts and we are all in this together.”

In hopes of encouraging more people to get vaccinated, the county is continuing to offer incentives. Through Thursday, anyone who gets vaccinated at sites operated by the county, the city of Los Angeles or St. John’s Well Child and Family Center will be entered for a chance to win one of seven concert ticket prizes, including box seats at the Hollywood Bowl and tickets to Staples Center concerts including Celine Dion, Grupo Firma, Luke Bryan, Kane Brown and Dan+Shay.

According to the most recent figures from the Department of Public Health, among county residents age 16 and older, 69% have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 61% are fully vaccinated. The rate among Black residents, however, is only 45% with at least one dose, compared to 54% for Latino residents, 65% for white residents and 76% for Asians. Vaccination rates continue to be especially low among younger Black residents, with only 28% of those aged 18-29 vaccinated.

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intent for all
6 days ago

I’m truly content with your assurance. I realize it was easy, readable and legitimate article . Your helpful article clarifies that you can keep on taking on new difficulties and develop with the organization. Much thanks to you for your additional work.

Val
Val
2 months ago

They are really pushing you to participate in this medical experiment hard!

C.R.
C.R.
3 months ago

And now it’s been announced we have to wear masks indoors again in L.A. county. So good thing we have all those delightful bar and restaurant outzones there afterall, eh?

Enough Is Enough
Enough Is Enough
3 months ago

We need to start getting VERY tough on the obnoxious, selfish, and just plain STUPID anti-vaxxers. I frankly think they should be identified, held down in restraints by force, injected, and sent to education camps to learn how not to be so stupid, but the next best thing should be that every social privilege, business, and public venue should require Proof of Vaccination in order to access it. “You can’t sit with us” if you’re not vaccinated. The arrogance and anti-intellectualism of these either Right-wing Trump supporters or Left-wing “Pilates Soccer Moms” who are anti-vax has gone far enough. That… Read more »

John
John
3 months ago

You did not mention Blacks. As a group, they have the least percent of their population vaccinated. Look it up. I don’t blame them because of a, “dark history of government-backed medical atrocities enacted upon the Black community.” Until you walk in someone else’s shoes do not be so judgmental about anyone who is unvaccinated.

Reality
Reality
3 months ago
Reply to  John

This virus knows no divide, ethnic, racial, political, economic or anything else one can think of. No one is safe until EVERYONE is safe. Get with the program!

Dave Beckton
Dave Beckton
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Lol. You need help.

WehoFan
WehoFan
3 months ago

Camps? Please get help.

WehoFan
WehoFan
3 months ago

Every social privilege? Who talks like that?

Val
Val
2 months ago

Jee this guy is a straight up Hitler

WehoFan
WehoFan
3 months ago

We are headed for another lockdown.

hifi5000
hifi5000
3 months ago

I remembered the all the hoopla that celebrated the opening of California on June 15th and the news of the new Delta variant.I didn’t think the good vibes would last and I was right.

We are not dealing well with the new variant and I feel infections will get worse. You better hold on tight,the ride is about to get real bumpy.

Reality
Reality
3 months ago

How could anyone be surprised by this? The Covid-19 Virus, the Delta Variant and the Gamma, Beta and Alpha are all alive until they or we are dead or spend the rest of our lives fighting off multiple exponential variants. Common sense, apparently is in short supply. We need a vaccination against mental instability while we are at it.

This is comparable to the homeless situation, by not dealing with it in its genesis it eventually is in your living room no one is immune.

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