The COVID-19 information is essentially constructive this week, with some stabilization within the variety of new circumstances reported every day, the brand new availability of vaccines for infants and toddlers, and information that our present vaccines are nonetheless proving efficient within the face of the ever-evolving virus.
First, in native numbers, Dr. Paul Simon, LA County’s Chief Science Officer, reported on this week’s LA County Well being Division replace that our each day common variety of new circumstances was simply over 4,400, which is a slight lower from the final week or two. Hospitalizations had been additionally pretty secure over the week, as had been deaths. Simon famous, nonetheless, that whereas this might sign a slowdown within the surge we’ve been seeing over the past month or so, it is also the results of faculty being out – which implies that LAUSD is not testing lots of of hundreds of individuals per week, because it was doing in the course of the faculty yr, so loads fewer folks total are being examined now, and meaning there may additionally be fewer circumstances being recognized every week.
Whereas new circumstances didn’t rise as quick this week, nonetheless, they didn’t fall considerably, both, which suggests LA County stays within the “medium” group tier this week, as outlined by the CDC. Simon mentioned we undoubtedly do nonetheless have a excessive fee of transmission, and will nonetheless transfer into the excessive group tier if our case fee, now at 7.3 circumstances per 100,000 residents, grows to greater than 10 circumstances per 100,000.
If the present transmission charges proceed, Simon mentioned, we may hit that “excessive” tier, which – if we remained there for 2 consecutive weeks – would set off necessary indoor masks mandates once more, by mid-July. That is an enchancment from the previous couple of weeks, nonetheless, when pattern strains predicted hitting the excessive tier by the top of June or early July. Simon famous that we may help sluggish issues down much more by selecting proper now – even with out official masks mandates – to put on masks in crowded and indoor public areas every time doable.
Extra tentatively excellent news this week comes from the early alert alerts LA County is monitoring, solely one in every of which (the share of COVID-19 specimens recognized as a variant of concern) meets the brink for top concern. 4 of the opposite early warning indicators are of medium concern this week, and two – wastewater monitoring and infections in settings for folks experiencing homelessness – at the moment are of low concern.
As soon as once more this week, 100% of our native circumstances are attributable to some type of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Of those, the variety of BA.4 and BA.5 circumstances (the pink segments within the graph beneath) grew barely – an indication, Simon mentioned, of the ever-evolving nature and continuously altering panorama of variants. In the meantime, Simon reported, the BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.3 variants subsided a bit, whereas the blue segments within the graph beneath, representing different BA.2 sublineages, grew a bit this week. However a few of these case strains haven’t but been recognized, Simon mentioned, as proven by the lightest blue a part of the graph for the final two weeks, and will finally find yourself in one of many different BA.2.x classes.
One other metric nonetheless being monitored by LA County is the share of emergency division encounters labeled as coronavirus-related, and people numbers continued to rise barely this week, Simon mentioned, although they’re nonetheless firmly inside the medium vary of concern.
In some higher information, although, the cumulative case fee for the bottom revenue areas of the County (which are sometimes a harbinger of issues to come back for the remainder of the county) continued a particular downward slide this week, for the second week in a row. (Simon cautioned, although, that this metric, too, could have been considerably affected by the top of the varsity yr and the top of weekly in-school testing for lots of of hundreds of LAUSD college students, lots of whom stay in these deprived areas.)
In the meantime, ranges of COVID-19 in LA County wastewater pattern rose this week, however they, too, are nonetheless inside the medium degree of concern…
…and wastewater samples from LA Metropolis Sanitation confirmed very secure ranges of COVID-19 this week.
And there’s extra excellent news on the vaccine entrance. First, though the variety of breakthrough circumstances amongst absolutely vaccinated folks has continued to develop over the previous couple of months (not stunning, Simon mentioned, as a result of the latest variants are usually way more transmissible than earlier strains of the virus), there may be nonetheless a transparent distinction in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths between those that are and usually are not vaccinated. At present, Simon reported, people who find themselves unvaccinated are nonetheless 1.57 occasions extra more likely to be contaminated with COVID-19, 3.8 occasions extra more likely to be hosplitalized when sick than those that are vaccinated, and seven.75 occasions extra more likely to die from COVID-19.
Or, to place it one other approach, out of practically 7 million folks in LA County who’re absolutely vaccinated, lower than 1 million have examined constructive for COVID-19, fewer than 15,000 have develop into sick sufficient to be hospitalized, and fewer than 2,500 – simply .03% (3 out of each 10,000) have died from COVID-19.
So the vaccines are undoubtedly working, and the County is continuous its efforts to encourage a residents to get each vaccinated and boosted when eligible. At present, youngsters ages 5-17 who obtained two preliminary doses of the Pfizer vaccine are eligible for boosters at the least 5 months after their second shot…whereas adults 18 years who obtained both the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are eligible for boosters of both vaccine at the least 5 months after their second shot. And adults over the age of fifty who obtained both the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and boosters are eligible for a second booster of both sort (fourth shot total) at the least 4 months after their first booster. Lastly, adults who obtained the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine initially are eligible for a booster after simply two months…and adults over the age of fifty are eligible for a second booster at the least 4 months after their first.
For extra details about present vaccination charges, maps, protocols and extra, see the County’s new vaccination dashboard, simply launched on Thursday, at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/vaccine/vaccine-dashboard.htm.
And to search out out the place to get vaccinated, see vaccinatelacounty.com, the place you’ll be able to search by zip code, vaccine typ, ages, and extra. And it’s additionally price noting, Simon mentioned, that you just don’t have to be a U.S. Citizen to be vaccinated, and photograph IDs are optionally available at LA County-sponsored vaccination websites.
Lastly, in fact, the most important vaccine information this week is that the CDC – as anticipated final week, has accredited COVID-19 vaccinations for infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 4 years, and people pictures at the moment are obtainable at greater than 900 places all through LA County, together with county-sponsored websites, pediatricians’ places of work, pharmacies, and extra. Simon cautioned, although, that for the reason that vaccine provides are nonetheless coming in, they could nonetheless be a bit restricted at some places, and pediatricians could have extra in inventory, at the least proper now, than pharmacies. (Pharmacies additionally can’t vaccinate youngsters youthful than age 3, Simon mentioned, so mother and father of the youngest youngsters must also see their pediatricians for that purpose.)
Simon did say, although, that he’s hopeful that vaccinations for this age vary can be fashionable, and that whereas mother and father could have some hesitations about vaccinating such younger children, additionally they are usually closest to their pediatricians when children are on this age vary, and pediatricians are absolutely on board for the vaccination effort, in addition to among the best sources for pictures proper now, so that ought to assist enhance the general vaccination fee for this age group.