The county’s case rates dwindle as vaccine rollout continues.
By Cassandra Nava, Online Editor
The number of COVID-19 related cases, hospitalizations and deaths has dropped significantly from Jan. 8 to April 15. (Graphic Illustration by Gene Wickham/The Valley Star)
Following a surge in COVID-19 cases last fall and winter, Los Angeles County has finally flattened the curve of the pandemic with some of the lowest cases recorded.
Positivity rates, hospitalizations, cases and deaths related to COVID-19 continue to decline, according to data from the county’s public health department. As of April 15, 613 new cases, 518 hospitalizations and 23 deaths were recorded. When compared to a surge last fall, on Nov. 23, the county recorded a total of 6,124 new cases, which broke the county’s single day record. On Jan. 8, the county reported the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths at 318 and 18,313 new cases, according to the health department’s news release.
“We have a moderate contagion in Los Angeles County, therefore it is still necessary for us to continue taking measures to prevent the increase in cases to avoid that our recovery stops,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health in a statement on April 13. “An important tool to reduce contagion are vaccines.”
The county’s vaccination rollout has reduced cases and allowed residents to fight off the virus. The CDC states that those who receive a vaccine not only help the community by slowing the spread, but they will reap the benefit of not getting seriously ill from the virus — if they do get infected.
According to the Los Angeles Times, as of April 15, 6,041,957 doses have been administered, while 23.4 percent of people in the county are fully vaccinated. These numbers are expected to increase, since vaccine eligibility has opened to everyone over 16 years old.
“We will need to remain vigilant, and continue the practices that got us here — wearing masks and getting vaccinated — but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.” — Gavin Newsom
In California, the average cases for the week of April 15 are 3,058, while there have been 97 reported deaths. According to graphs from the New York Times, the surge in January saw a seven day average of 40,694 new cases for the week of Jan. 14. Compared to any other state in the country, California has had the most deaths related to COVID-19 at 60,808. Despite the recent drop, California still holds the title of the state with the highest number of cases, according to recent data from Statista.
Due to the lower case rates of COVID-19 in LA, the county is now in the less restrictive orange tier in the four tier system that determines safety protocols and guidelines. If enough people receive the vaccine, this tier system known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy will be suspended on June 15 — which is when the state plans to fully reopen.
According to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s official website, “common-sense risk reduction measures” such as masks will still be enforced, no matter what tier or guidelines are set in place.
“We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic,” said Newsom. “We will need to remain vigilant, and continue the practices that got us here — wearing masks and getting vaccinated — but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.”