The State of California will be keeping its current masking guidance until June 15, and L.A. County will do the same

Channel 1 Los Angeles

5/17/2021

4 New Deaths and 161 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

While the County’s metrics continue to remain low and stable, there continues to be COVID-19 transmission in California, particularly among those who are not fully vaccinated. For that reason, the State will be keeping its current masking guidance until June 15, and L.A. County will do the same and remain in alignment with the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order of May 3. It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement last week was not meant to eliminate current safety modifications at local and state levels, and the CDC acknowledged the importance of maintaining local protections.

Masks are still required for everyone at:

  • Large events, public transportation, retail, and business establishments
  • Workplaces (under Cal/OSHA masking/distancing requirements)

Masks are still required for all unvaccinated people:

  • Outdoors anytime distancing cannot be maintained

Masks are still not required for fully vaccinated people:

  • Outdoors unless attending crowded events
  • Indoor and outdoor visits with other fully vaccinated people and with unvaccinated people from one household without high risk people

Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 4 new deaths and 161 new cases of COVID-19.  The number of cases and deaths may reflect reporting delays over the weekend. Of the four new deaths reported today, two people that passed away were over the age of 80, and two people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79.

To date, Public Health identified 1,237,561 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,097 deaths. There are 322 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for nearly 6,650,000 individuals with 17% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 0.4%.

As of May 14, more than 9,013,851 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of these, 5,326,360 were first doses and 3,687,491 were second doses.   As of May 14, 58% of L.A. County residents 12 and older have received first doses and 44% have received two doses of the vaccine.

“We extend our love and prayers to everyone who has lost loved ones during this tragedy and are hopeful that even as we collectively mourn our great losses, deaths will continue to remain low in the weeks ahead,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “To prevent increased circulation of variants or virus mutations that result in new variants of concern, it remains important to do everything we know how to do to prevent transmission.  With 56% of L.A. County residents not yet fully vaccinated and all our children under 12 not yet able to get vaccinated, masking, distancing and infection control remain critically important strategies at many sites and for many activities. We have come this far by taking care of each other, and to end this pandemic, we will need to remain willing to follow sensible safety modifications that make it possible to reduce cases and outbreaks while we increase the number of residents fully vaccinated.  So here in CA and L.A. County we ask that everyone continue to mask and practice social distancing indoors and around crowds as we work to increase the number of people vaccinated.”

Public Health is tracking vaccination rates among teens since this is a newly eligible group and is delighted to report a great turnout among teens 12 to 15-years-old late last week and over the weekend. As of late Friday, more than 15,700 12 to 15-year-old had been vaccinated – that’s in just two days of this group’s vaccination eligibility. Public Health is also happy to report that 16 and 17-year-olds have continued to get vaccinated at a good pace: 95,356 teens in this age group, 38% of all 16 and 17-year-olds countywide, have gotten at least one vaccination.

Parents are accustomed to vaccinating their children at pediatricians’ offices, schools, and community centers, where they often know and trust the healthcare providers they see. Our goal is to help maximize these sites’ capacity to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly the Pfizer vaccine, and as the warmer months arrive, to expand efforts to vaccinate teens in the parks, day camps, and other places where they spend their summers.

Public Health is focusing efforts on the 43 school districts located in the hardest hit communities in the county, including LAUSD.   The first involves organizing school site pop-up clinics. There are 60 school sites where pop-up clinics are providing vaccines to people in their surrounding communities. LAUSD is hoping to send mobile teams to over 200 school sites starting next week. The second part of this strategy involves onboarding existing school-based clinics as COVID-19 vaccine providers. 

The County is working with LA County and LA City Parks and Rec, Boys and Girls Club Alliance and YMCA to create partnerships aimed at educating families on vaccines and providing vaccine opportunities in cooperation with summer programs.

Public Health’s efforts are focused on making it as easy as possible for eligible L.A. County residents to get vaccinated. This week, there are 755 sites offering vaccinations including pharmacies, clinics, community sites, and hospitals. Many of these vaccination sites are concentrated in areas that have been hard hit by the pandemic. Currently, you can obtain vaccines at the eight county-run sites, all the LA city run sites, almost all mobile sites and many of the community sites without an appointment. Many sites are open on weekends and have evening hours.

Public Health continues to support additional mobile vaccination teams that take vaccinations into neighborhoods to reach people who may have limited ability or time to get to one of the established vaccination sites. These teams have set up ongoing daily sites to provide vaccines on a walk-in basis at public places such as metro stations, food markets and parks. There are 188 sites where mobile teams will be offering vaccinations this week which are concentrated in higher-need, harder hit areas.

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