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Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 516 New Cases, 9 Deaths 3/22/2021

Uploaded 03/22/2021

Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 516 New Cases, 9 Deaths 3/22/2021

County officials provide updates and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for March 22nd, 2021.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 9 new deaths and 516 new cases of COVID-19. The lower number of deaths and cases may reflect reporting delays over the weekend. To date, Public Health identified 1,214,683 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 22,806 deaths.

The seven-day average number of daily cases by episode date continues to decrease, and as of March 14 is under 500 new cases per day.

As of March 18, approximately 1,984,738 persons who reside in Los Angeles County have been vaccinated with at least one dose of vaccine since January 1. While the majority of the L.A. County population has not yet been vaccinated, the increasing rate of vaccination likely is beginning to reduce transmission.

There are 750 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 25% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 6,018,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 1.5%.

Of the nine new deaths reported today, five people that passed away were over the age of 80, one person who died was between the ages of 65 and 79, one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49.

Public Health made additional modifications to the Health Officer Order. The revised Order was issued on March 19, and took effect on March 20, with the following changes:

  • Breweries, Wineries and Craft Distilleries that do not provide a meal may open for outdoor service only with certain restrictions, including:
    • All guests must have reservations;
    • Guests are limited to a 90-minute time limit for their visit;
    • Guests must be seated at tables before they place their order, and are not permitted to stand or congregate with others;
    • And hours are limited with service for on-site consumption closing by 8:00 pm.
  • Breweries, Wineries, and Craft Distilleries that serve a bona fide meal can be open for indoor dining operations at 25% of indoor capacity and must follow the same modifications required of restaurants.
  • Clarity for certain types of businesses that serve the public but are not typical retail establishments, such as non-school learning centers, bank and credit union branches, check cashing services, tax preparation, auto repair, auto dealerships, and dry cleaners. These types of limited services businesses are now permitted for indoor operations with modifications at 50% capacity.
  • For mental health, support groups, and spiritual counseling, the number of in-person participants increases from 10 to 12 participants to make this type of support more accessible to those in the community. Public Health still encourages services to be provided remotely when at all possible.
  • For office-based worksites, businesses that must open indoors for essential operations that cannot be done remotely must also limit indoor capacity to 50% of maximum occupancy.
  • For youth and adult recreational sports, the County is aligning with State to allow for indoor sports to engage in indoor activities, including training, conditioning, contact practice and competition if they adhere to State requirements.
    • Limiting any indoor sports activities to 10% of indoor occupancy; observers are not permitted for any youth or adult indoor sports activities, including competitions;
    • Regular testing of players, coaches, and staff;
    • Development and implementation of a Return to Play Safety Plan and a Site-Specific Safety Plan. Plans must be filed with Public Health 14-days prior to indoor activity.

Businesses and sectors must follow all safety measures and protocols. The updated protocols can be found online at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

Public Health is updating the Protocols for grades K through 12 schools to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health on the required distancing in schools, with additional recommendations. Schools are strongly recommended to maximize distance between student seating maintaining 3 feet minimum distance at all times. It is important that schools implement critical mitigation layers including required masking, stable groups, and maintaining 6 feet of distance as much as possible during activities where students are not wearing masks, such as eating and drinking. There continues to be a requirement of a minimum of 6 feet of distance between teachers and other desks from students and other staff.

“Our deepest condolences go out to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. We share your grief,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Spring officially began this past weekend. Like so many of you, I am eagerly awaiting warmer weather and clearer skies. We have a beautiful county, and I encourage you all to enjoy everything it has to offer while remaining masked and physically distanced. For recreational travelers and residents coming to L.A. County, please note, you are required to self-quarantine for 10 days after you return from out of state or out of country travel to protect our community from inadvertent transmission of the virus from travelers. We strongly recommend that those who traveled and during their travels were in crowds, exposed to unmasked individuals in close proximity, or attended gatherings, get tested on their return. This is particularly important for those who traveled to places with high rates of community transmission, like Miami, which reported a 9% test positivity rate; this is 6 times higher than the test positivity rate in L.A. County. Please remember how easily this virus can spread and take every action you can to protect yourself others until we all can get vaccinated.”

Nearly 3,235,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of those vaccinated, 1,057,794 people received second doses.

Currently, people who are eligible for the vaccine include healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, residents who are age 65 or older, education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, emergency service workers and law enforcement, people with serious health conditions or disabilities, people who live or work in high risk congregate living spaces (shelters, jails, and residential behavioral health programs), janitorial, custodial, and maintenance services workers, and people who work in the transportation and logistics.

Our allocation for this week is slightly higher than last week. Last week, we received over 259,000 doses, none of which were Johnson & Johnson. This week, we received 6,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Unfortunately, our efforts are being slowed by the lack of vaccine supply. This week alone there are over 633,000 appointment slots available, and we only have enough doses for about 280,000 appointments. We hope that supply will increase in the coming weeks and allow us to vaccinate even more people.

Mobile vaccine teams are deploying to the hardest hit communities, with a priority of vaccinating residents 65 and older. More than 80 mobile vaccination teams are scheduled to administer vaccinations this week at senior housing sites, senior centers, faith-based organizations and community-based organizations. These mobile sites are critical to our effort to vaccinate hard hit communities with either lower vaccination rates or lack of access. In the coming weeks, an additional 150 mobile vaccinations sites are scheduled throughout our county.

For information about who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in L.A. County, how to make an appointment if it is your turn, what verifications you will need to show at your vaccination appointment, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

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
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