L.A. City and County COVID-19 Weekly Update (March 1, 2021)

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

COVID-19 Rates Leveled Off, Hospitalizations Continue to Fall

COVID-19 case rates leveled off slightly last week, with new reported cases averaging 1,820 per day. Hospitalizations continued to fall, and on Thursday, February 25, 2021, the 1,988 hospitalizations fell below 2,000 for the first time since November 29, 2020, when the County reported 2,049 hospitalizations.

The County remains in Tier 1 of the State’s Blueprint, along with 47 of the state’s 58 counties. As of Tuesday, February 23, the state’s adjusted case rate for the County was 15.2 cases per 100,000 residents. The number must be below 7 cases per 100,000 in order to move to Tier 2.

Vaccinations

As of Friday, February 26, 2021, the County reported administering “nearly 1,960,000 doses” of vaccine, including 600,497 second doses.

Dr. Ferrer added that the County has unused capacity to administer vaccination, but remains limited by the amount of supply received. For instance, according to Dr. Ferrer, the County had capacity for almost 500,000 appointment slots last week, but only received enough doses for 211,000 appointments.

While supply streams need to increase, the County has moved to expand the categories of individuals eligible to receive vaccinations.  Starting March 1, 2021, the following individuals are eligible for vaccinations:

  • Food & Agriculture, including:
    • Food service workers
    • Food manufacturing workers
    • Grocery store workers
    • Veterinarians
    • Food and Agriculture-associated port and transportation workers
  • Education & Childcare, including:
    • Teachers (K-12, Preschool)
    • Support staff (K-12, Preschool)
    • Childcare workers
    • Employees at Junior Colleges, Colleges, and Universities
  • Emergency Services & First Responders, including:
    • Police/law enforcement officers
    • Emergency Management, Search and Rescue, Emergency and public safety communication centers, emergency operations center personnel
    • Corrections officers and workers
    • Certain court staff and legal counsel (limited to those providing emergency services and/or in contact with first responders)
    • Campus and school police
    • Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures

According to the County, qualifying individuals will need to bring proof of eligibility, including proof that they live or work in L.A. County and that they are in an eligible sector. Further details are available at vaccinatelacounty.com.

These additional categories are projected to add approximately 2.2 million individuals to the list of those who are eligible for vaccination in the County.

“Hero Pay” Ordinances

On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a motion and ordinance to require “Hero Pay” for frontline grocery store workers. This Ordinance requires grocery stores and some pharmacies in unincorporated parts of the County that have at least 10 employees on site and are either publicly traded or have more than 300 employees nationally to pay their employees an additional $5 per hour.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the LA City Council also approved a similar “Hero Pay” ordinance, which requires grocery stores and drugstores (also with more than 300 employees nationally and 10 employees on site) to boost the pay of their workers by $5 an hour for the next 120 days. The ordinance will receive a second hearing at the City Council meeting on March 3, 2021, before being sent to the Mayor for his signature. Mayor Garcetti has previously indicated that he supports the measure and is likely to sign it into law on or shortly after March 3.

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