As COVID-19 infections continue to spread thanks to the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, Los Angeles County on Tuesday reported another small increase in cases in skilled nursing facilities, despite high vaccination rates. among residents and staff.
For the week that ended July 18, the county documented 33 new cases in care facilities – six among residents and 27 staff. This is an increase from a previous weekly average of 22 new cases in total.
Qualified staff and residents of nursing homes were among the first to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. County officials said 86% of residents and 85% of staff were fully immunized. Masking and routine testing of the virus is also required.
County officials attributed the increase in cases to the Delta variant and a “small number” of so-called “breakthrough” infections of those vaccinated.
âResidents of skilled nursing facilities are often medically fragile and throughout this pandemic have been at high risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19,â the county public health director said , Barbara Ferrer, in a press release. âFortunately, due to their high COVID-19 vaccination rates and infection control measures in facilities, we are not seeing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases among staff and residents of facilities. skilled nursing care, nor a significant increase in the number of deaths.
âIn order to ensure a high level of continued protection during this wave, staff and residents not yet vaccinated must do so. very vulnerable residents.
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky signed an order saying eviction of tenants could undermine public health control measures as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread. The moratorium on evictions applies to counties “experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2”.
The county reported 2,293 more COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative count for the entire pandemic to 1,307,970. 20 more deaths were also reported, giving the county a total death toll of 24,704.
The mobile average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 6.6% on Tuesday, down from 6.2% on Monday. The average was 1.3% on July 2.
County health officials have continued to advocate vaccinations as the best defense against COVID-19 infections, which disproportionately affect the unvaccinated and send them to hospitals.
According to state figures, there were 1,242 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID as of Wednesday morning, including 269 people in intensive care. County officials noted that a month ago, on July 2, there were only 280 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
Ferrer said last week that of all those hospitalized in the county with COVID-19 in June, 92% were not fully or not fully vaccinated. The figure was 95% in May. For the first 10 days of July – the most recent statistic available – the rate was 91%.
Ferrer also said that 99.8% of COVID deaths in the county in the first six months of the year were among the unvaccinated. The rate was 96% from April 1 to June 30, when vaccines were more widely available.
As the pace of vaccinations has slowed significantly since the start of the year, Ferrer said the county has now seen two straight weeks of small increases in the number of people receiving a first dose. Between July 19 and July 25, about 70,000 doses were administered in the county, up about 7,500 from the previous week.
Of the county’s 10.3 million people, 60% have received at least one dose and 52% are fully immunized. About 1.3 million people under the age of 12 are still not eligible for the vaccine.
Of residents aged 16 and older, 72% have received at least one dose and 63% are fully immunized, according to the county’s most recent figures. Rates are significantly higher among older residents, with 89% of county residents aged 65 and over having received at least one dose and 79% fully vaccinated.
There are 772 county sites offering vaccinations this week, including pharmacies, clinics, community sites and hospitals and 312 sites where mobile teams are offering vaccinations, which are concentrated in the areas most in need and most. affected.
Statewide cases are also on the rise, mostly among unvaccinated populations, health officials said. The vast majority of new cases in California are among the unvaccinated, with case rates 600% higher among the unvaccinated than those who are vaccinated.