L.A. City and County COVID-19 Weekly Update (February 8, 2021)

CA Health and Government COVID-19 Guidance: Week in Review

COVID-19 Rates and Hospitalizations Continue to Fall; Death Rate May Have Peaked

Over the past week, both new case rates and hospitalizations have continued to fall in the County, and it appears that daily death rates may have peaked.

At a press conference on Monday, February 1, 2021, L.A. County Supervisor and Board Chair Hilda Solis said that the County is “entering the next phase” of the fight against COVID-19, and has experienced a daily case count drop from over 15,000 per day on January 8 to approximately 5,000 per day, as well as a continued drop in daily hospitalizations.

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L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced that from the beginning of the year, new cases are down 67%, hospitalizations are down 30% and deaths are down 33%.

However, due to the continued wide spread of COVID-19 in the region, the County remains in Tier 1 of the State’s Blueprint, along with 54 of the state’s 58 counties, covering approximately 99% of the state’s population.

In addition, in a press release issued on February 3, 2021, the County Department of Public Health announced that it had confirmed a third case of the U.K. COVID-19 variant.

Hospital Capacity

In a presentation released on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the L.A. County Department of Health Services (LADHS) confirmed that hospitalizations in the County are decreasing. Importantly, LADHS noted that “daily mortality appears to have peaked and, although still high, LADHS expects average daily mortality to fall in the upcoming weeks.” On Thursday, February 4, 2021, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped to 4,990, the first time that number had been below 5,000 since December 18, 2020.

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The County’s estimated transmission rate (R) is 0.83. LADHS estimates that approximately 0.34%, or one in 300 County residents, are currently infected and infectious to others. One week ago, this estimate was one in 260.

Vaccinations

At a press conference on Monday, February 1, 2021, Supervisor Solis said that the County had administered 79.8% of all received vaccine doses. As of January 25, 2021, the County had been allocated 991,375 doses, and 790,902 of those doses had been administered. The County expects all eligible individuals in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities to be fully vaccinated in the next two to three weeks. By Friday, February 5, 2021, the total number of vaccine doses administered rose to 1,051,229, equivalent to almost 11% of the County’s total population (10,039,107).

On February 3, 2021, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the launch of the City’s mobile vaccination program, targeted to individuals who have mobility and access issues and with a focus on communities that have high COVID-19 rates and vulnerabilities.

Also, on February 3, 2021, the Biden Administration and Governor Newsom announced the opening of a new joint federal/state COVID-19 vaccination site at Cal State LA. The site will open on February 16, and will come with additional doses, rather than cannibalizing existing supply. Registration for vaccine appointments at this site will be available through the state’s MyTurn scheduling system in the coming days.

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