LA County reports 1,054 coronavirus cases; hospitalizations fall again
Los Angeles County reported 1,054 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths associated with the virus on Sunday, Nov. 21.
The numbers likely reflect delays in weekend reporting, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The county has now logged 1,519,781 cases of COVID-19 and 27,010 fatalities since the pandemic began.
The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals declined to 569, down from 573 on Saturday. Of those patients, 152 were in intensive care, up from 149 on Friday, according to state figures.
The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.9% as of Friday.
Health officials locally and nationally continue to fear a spike in cases with the upcoming winter holidays, and with colder weather leading to more indoor gatherings.
On Thursday, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer noted that the county appears to have avoided any spike in cases following Halloween, attributing that success to higher numbers of vaccinated residents and other precautions.
But she said case numbers are rising in many Western states and in Europe, providing an early warning of what could lie ahead if people become lax about virus prevention.
On Friday, Ferrer urged residents to receive booster doses of vaccine.
“While the vaccines continue to provide significant protection against the virus, data now shows that the effectiveness of the vaccine declines enough over time that it is important to get an additional dose to have better protection against the virus,” she said. “With booster doses currently available to anyone who received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago, or received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago, it is important that healthcare workers and those they care for take advantage of easy access to these additional doses.
“With 4.8 million residents eligible for boosters, our hope is that many more individuals will be coming in for this additional dose before the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Ferrer said Thursday that current figures show unvaccinated people are nine times more likely than vaccinated people to get infected, and 67 times more likely to be hospitalized.
Ferrer said 82% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 73% are fully vaccinated. Of the county’s overall population of 10.3 million people, 71% have received at least one dose, and 63% are fully vaccinated.
She said the number of people who received a first dose of vaccine during the past week jumped sharply, due primarily to the expansion of vaccine availability to include children aged 5-11.
Black residents continue to have the lowest vaccination rates, at 54%, followed by Latina/o residents at 59%, whites at 72% and Asians at 80%.
Of the roughly 5.99 million residents who were fully vaccinated as of Nov. 16, 75,249 have subsequently tested positive for the virus, for a rate of 1.26%, Ferrer said. Of the vaccinated population, 2,528 have been hospitalized, for a rate of 0.042%, and 422 have died, a rate of 0.007%.