Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 987 New Cases, 32 Deaths 3/1/2021
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for March 1st, 2021.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 32 new deaths and 987 new cases of COVID-19. The lower number of deaths and cases may reflect reporting delays over the weekend. To date, Public Health identified 1,192,895 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 21,467 deaths.
The County is steadily making progress in reducing the average number of daily new cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average number of cases by episode date has now decreased to less than 1,000 per day.
There are 1,578 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 31% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 5,840,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 2.5%.
Public Health has not yet seen any increases due to gatherings that may have happened during the Super Bowl and Presidents Day weekend.
Healthcare workers experienced a surge in cases in the late fall through the winter. Now, as cases overall have declined and many healthcare workers are vaccinated, cases have dropped to the lowest they have been since the beginning of the pandemic. During the week of November 29, there were over 1,800 cases among healthcare workers. The week of February 14, there were just 69 cases. Among workers in skilled nursing facilities, a group experiencing one-fourth of healthcare worker cases, there is a significant decrease in cases. The week of November 29, there were 434 cases among these healthcare workers, and the week of February 14, there were 10.
The number of deaths among healthcare workers has seen a rapid decline since the peak of the surge in early January. During the week of January 3, 21 healthcare workers passed away from COVID-19. During the week of February 21, two healthcare workers passed away. These numbers, no matter what they are, are tragic and we mourn the loss of all of these heroes who passed away from COVID-19.
As of February 28, 78% of skilled nursing home staff received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 69% of all staff received their second dose and are fully vaccinated. High rates of vaccination are correlated with the lowest rates of cases and deaths among healthcare workers at nursing homes, and we are grateful to everyone that got vaccinated and to the teams that coordinated vaccinations at each site.
Of the 32 new deaths reported today, 12 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 12 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, six people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29.
“To everyone who has lost a loved one or a friend to COVID-19, please know we think of you every day and are deeply sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Our most under resourced communities in L.A. County have seen the most cases, hospitalizations and deaths, and these inequities are playing out again as we work to vaccinate our communities. For this reason, we are continuing to develop new partnerships and strategies to make getting vaccinated in these communities as accessible and as barrier free as possible. When we think about the last year, we cannot help but reflect on all the fear and tragedy so many experienced. We have also witnessed heroism in the face of this pandemic by our healthcare workers across L.A. County, and across the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all our healthcare workers for everything you have done and continue to do to provide those most in need with the best care possible.”
Nearly 1,960,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Los Angeles County. Of those vaccinated, 600,497 people have received second doses. In addition to healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, and people who are age 65 or older, starting today, three additional workers are eligible for the vaccine; education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, and emergency service workers and law enforcement.
The County’s network of vaccination sites has the capacity for 500,000 appointment slots this week, although we only received enough doses for 270,000 appointments. County and City of LA sites will be vaccinating 130,000 people combined. Federally Qualified Health Centers are administering almost 56,000 doses and pharmacies are administering 34,000 doses. Across sectors, there is much more capacity to vaccinate, though there is simply not enough supply of vaccine to offer more appointments. Our large capacity vaccination sites alone could provide 142,000 additional doses this week if there was sufficient vaccine supply.
L.A. County is working to ensure that eligible residents and workers in the hardest hit communities have increased access to vaccines. Access to people living in communities that have been the hardest hit by the pandemic remains a challenge, and we are continuing to employ strategies to increase access to vaccinations for these groups. Public Health is encouraging more restricted clinics for people who live in these communities so that they have access to appointments and do not have to travel far to be vaccinated. The County is shifting some allocations to smaller sites to make sure that providers that serve our hardest hit communities are able to vaccinate more people and increasing the number of mobile teams that can visit people who may not be able to travel for a vaccination appointment. This week, there will be 46 mobile vaccination teams that will visit 26 Affordable Senior Housing Developments and 20 Senior Residential Communities. The County is also partnering with faith-based and community-based organizations who can directly reach out to their congregations and clients and assist them with registering to be vaccinated.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization and L.A. County will likely begin to see doses of this vaccine as early as this week. As Johnson & Johnson doses come into L.A. County, this vaccine will be offered at a number of sites including the large capacity vaccination sites. All three vaccines are extraordinarily powerful and, in clinical trials, were 100% effective preventing hospitalizations and deaths. Please know that there will not be any ability to choose your vaccine brand when being vaccinated.
Those who fall under the newly eligible sectors will be able to get vaccinated at many sites across the County including pharmacies, local hospitals, mobile vaccination clinics and large capacity vaccination sites. There are approximately 546,000 people in the education and childcare sector, 116,000 people in the emergency services and law enforcement sector, and 502,000 people in the food and agriculture sector eligible for a vaccine. Vaccinations are scheduled on sector-specific days for these newly eligible groups at our large capacity vaccination sites. Workers will be required to show proof of their identity with a photo ID, that they reside or work in L.A. County, and are among a sector eligible for vaccinations.
For information about vaccine appointments in L.A. County and when your turn is coming up, to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). People coming to be vaccinated will be asked to verify they are in an eligible group, and anyone not able to do this will not be vaccinated.
County Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional actions you can take to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.(c) 2021 SCVTV