LA's COVID Cases, Deaths Decrease 'Significantly'
Following a week that saw, on average, more than 200 people die from COVID-19 each day, and a months-long surge of cases, Los Angeles County health officials are finally reporting fewer fatalities.
Doctors, nurses and health care professionals have been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 since the pandemic began three years ago. We asked six of them how their lives, jobs, and views about medicine and public health have changed since.
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The Public Health Department reported 85 new deaths Monday, along with 4,223 new cases of the virus.
That's a significant decrease.
Daily cases have dropped by 67% compared to the peak of the winter holiday surge just three weeks ago. Hospitalizations are also down 30% since that time.
But county public health director Barbara Ferrer warned that even as some restrictions are lifted, like the ban on outdoor dining, Angelenos should still protect themselves against the virus, in the same ways we did before the rules eased and the numbers decreased:
"Any additional surge in cases would require us to take a step backward in our recovery journey...and that is something none of us wants," she said in today's media briefing.
Ferrer also urged against gathering at a restaurant with those not in your household. She also recommended double-masking and not gathering for the Super Bowl.
As for the county's vaccination efforts, Ferrer says, as of last week, the county had received nearly one million cumulative doses of vaccine.
Nearly 80% of those shots have already been administered, but County Supervisor Hilda Solis pointed out that's equivalent to only about 8% of the county's population.
As of Jan. 25, only 7.9% of L.A. County residents have received a first dose.
Ferrer cautioned that the number of doses arriving from the federal government continues to fluctuate each week. She said officials hope there's more available by March.
Last week, the county received more than 146,000 doses, about 22,000 fewer compared to the week before.
VACCINES FOR THE HOMELESS
Health officials say starting today, teams are starting to vaccinate residents, age 65-and-older, who are currently living in homeless encampments and shelters.
L.A. County Health Services Director, Doctor Christina Ghaly, says they expect to vaccinate about 400 people in that group this week, but the number of people will vary going forward, based on available doses.
HOME TEST KITS
The county is extending its COVID-19 home test collection program through at least February 15.
Dr. Ghaly says the program allows people who need to follow quarantine guidelines, seniors, and others with mobility issues, to more easily access a test.
You can request a kit to be mailed to your house at covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.
YOU CAN WATCH THE FULL COUNTY UPDATE HERE:
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