Morning Brief: Unvaccinated Hospitalizations, A Bike-Related Union, And Joints For Jabs
Good morning, L.A. It’s July 14.
Announcing the latest tally of new coronavirus cases, Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of the county's Health and Human Resources Department, presented a clear and stark portrait of who is being admitted to hospitals with the most severe illness.
"To date, we have not yet had a patient admitted to a [county] hospital who has been fully vaccinated with either the J&J, Pfizer, or Moderna vaccine," she said. "Every single patient we've admitted for COVID has been not yet fully vaccinated."
The news comes as cases in L.A. County are slowly but surely ticking back up. Yesterday marked the fifth day in a row with more than 1,000 people testing positive, including an increase in 30- to 49-year-olds. The county's weekly test positivity rate is also on the rise; it's now just under 5%, nearly double what it was last week.
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Officials have warned Angelenos since early July that we could be headed for a summer surge.
Barbara Ferrer, director of the County Public Health Department, previously warned: “Given that we have large numbers of unvaccinated people in Los Angeles County ... another wave could become a very real possibility.”
Cases began to rise in the weeks after mask mandates and other precautions were lifted on June 15. The Delta variant has become more prevalent, and many people are still unable or unwilling to be vaccinated.
The numbers all point back to a dramatic drop in demand for vaccines. Last week, county health officials administered slightly more than 40,000 shots, well below their weekly goal of 100,000.
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- The nomination of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcett to be U.S. Ambassador to India is a show of confidence in his diplomatic abilities.
- Workers at L.A. Metro’s bike share program say their work is undervalued and dangerous — and they’re trying to form a union to ensure better pay and protections.
- Mary's Kitchen, a nonprofit in Orange County, says it's fighting to stay in the building where it has served the homeless for nearly 30 years.
- California lags the nation in public data showing how students move from school to college and the workforce.
- California’s 116 community colleges will now require an ethnic studies class as part of their general education.
Before You Go ... Puff, Puff, Vax
California has given away basketball tickets, vacation packages, and even millions of dollars in cash to entice people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, a community organization in Long Beach is offering free, pre-rolled joints to the first 150 people to get their shots next weekend.
The non-profit Long Beach Forward has partnered with the Long Beach Collective Association, which advocates for safe and legal cannabis access, to offer the incentive to people 21 and older.