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

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

COVID-19 Cases Continue to Decline in Los Angeles

Last week, Los Angeles experienced the continued reduction of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. On Monday, March 1, 2021, L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer reported significant decreases in new cases among frontline health care workers and skilled nursing facility staff. These groups were among the first eligible for vaccinations and illustrate how vaccinations are having measurable impacts on new cases and case severity.

In addition, daily test positivity rates continued to fall. As of Friday, March 5, 2021, the County’s daily test positivity rate was 2.3% and the seven-day average was 2.6%. These are the lowest levels the County has reported at any time since the pandemic began a year ago.

As of March 1, 2021, the County’s model estimated that 0.9% of County residents, or one in 1,100 people, were currently infected and infectious to others. The model also estimated that three in eight residents, or approximately 38%, have been infected with COVID-19 overall. This is up from under 20% in November 2020. The County’s estimated transmission rate (R) at that time was 0.77, down very slightly from 0.78 the previous week.

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The County remains in Tier 1 of the State’s Blueprint, along with 40 other of the state’s 58 counties. As of Tuesday, March 2, 2021, the state’s adjusted case rate for the County was 7.2 cases per 100,000 residents. This is just above the state threshold of seven cases per 100,000 in order to move to Tier 2, which would result in the gradual reopening of additional economic sectors if the County stays below that threshold for two consecutive weeks.

However, there is a continuing increase in the spread of COVID-19 variants in the county:

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These variants present a risk of increased community transmission, which could stall progress toward reopenings.

Vaccinations

As of Friday, March 5, 2021, the County reported administering 2,415,460 total doses and 814,593 second doses. This week, the County anticipates receiving its largest allocation of vaccines to date: 312,000 doses (including 53,700 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s). Most will be allocated for first doses.

As reported last week, starting March 1, 2021, Educators and Child care workers, Food and Agriculture workers, and Emergency Services workers/First Responders are now eligible for vaccines. The County projects approximately 2.2 million additional individuals will now be eligible for vaccination.

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