As COVID-19 an infection charges fall and hospitalizations decline, some Los Angeles County residents might marvel in the event that they’ll quickly have the ability to shed face masks indoors and in different settings, however the public well being director mentioned on Thursday, Oct. 21, that virus transmission stays substantial, and loosening restrictions too early might immediate one other harmful winter case surge.
County Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer mentioned the most recent numbers present the county has seen a roughly 18% drop within the variety of common every day new COVID instances and a 14% drop in hospitalizations over the previous week. Common every day deaths have lastly fallen under 10, reaching about eight per day.
Within the early days of the pandemic, between 15% and 30% of people that contracted COVID-19 wound up hospitalized, however that charge is now about 5-6%, reflecting the impression of vaccines, improved outpatient care and extra broadly accessible testing, Ferrer mentioned. She mentioned many of the COVID infections now occurring are “comparatively gentle or average, particularly for people who find themselves totally vaccinated.”
“With these numbers trending downward, I do know there are folks expressing concern with the continued required masking or advisable further layers of prevention in public locations and locations of employment,” Ferrer mentioned throughout a web based briefing. ” … There are a few explanation why we’re persevering with security necessities in what we contemplate to be higher-risk settings.
“Transmission continues to be substantial throughout the county and many of the nation, and which means it’s pretty simple for the virus to unfold,” she mentioned. “The unfold occurs primarily among the many unvaccinated folks but in addition, as we’ve been reporting for months now, to a lesser diploma amongst vaccinated folks, particularly in these crowded locations and in poorly ventilated indoor areas.
“The second cause is we have to do every little thing doable to stop a devastating winter surge. We’ve seen a sample the place COVID numbers enhance with cooling climate and extra actions shifting indoors. Layering protections is a smart method, and we centered on layering with security measures that don’t actually create important disruptions to customary operations. After vaccinations, masking gives us the subsequent finest device for lowering unfold.”
The county continues to mandate mask-wearing in indoor public settings, besides when individuals are actively consuming or consuming. Masks are additionally required at massive out of doors occasions, similar to Dodger video games or soccer video games.
Ferrer mentioned the restrictions won’t be round endlessly, and if transmission continues declining, the principles may be relaxed.
“We’ve all the time indicated that these usually are not endlessly restrictions,” she mentioned.
However she mentioned “getting extra folks vaccinated is the fasted strategy to lowering transmission.”
In keeping with numbers launched Thursday, 79% of eligible county residents aged 12 and older have acquired a minimum of one dose of vaccine, and 71% are totally vaccinated.
Well being officers anticipate that Pfizer vaccines will seemingly be authorised for kids aged 5 to 11 by early November, and there are about 900,000 youngsters in Los Angeles County in that age vary, Ferrer mentioned. She mentioned the county will likely be ready to shortly start administering these doses, with about 96,000 of the smaller, pediatric doses anticipated to be in hand shortly after they’re authorised, with 1000’s extra doses arriving in subsequent deliveries.
The county on Thursday reported one other 27 COVID-19 deaths, elevating the general loss of life toll from the pandemic to 26,499. Deaths are thought of a lagging indicator of the pandemic, which means the deaths reported on any given day didn’t happen up to now 24 hours, however are simply being reported and will have truly occurred weeks and even months in the past.
One other 1,167 COVID infections have been reported Thursday, giving the county a pandemic whole of 1,481,814. The typical every day charge of individuals testing optimistic for the virus was a low 0.88%.
In the meantime, the variety of COVID-positive sufferers in county hospitals fell under the 600 mark, with state figures placing the quantity at 598. That was down from 613 on Wednesday. Of the hospitalized sufferers, 184 have been in intensive care, up from 177 a day earlier.