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For Immediate Release:

December 17, 2020

As Vaccine Progress Continues, Public Health Reminds Everyone to Heed Lessons Learned to Stop the Surge; Stay Home as Much as Possible - 102 New Deaths and 14,418 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 102 new deaths and 14,418 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 580,325 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 8,664 deaths.

There are 4,864 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people are in the ICU. In the last two days the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased by more than 450 people.

According to the State, the Southern California Region has 0% ICU capacity remaining.

A second COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, was endorsed today by the FDA’s Advisory Committee, and based on the publicly released findings of the vaccine trial, Public Health is hopeful the vaccine will receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) very soon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices will meet this weekend to discuss the recommended use of the Moderna vaccine and will also vote on additional priority populations to receive it.

Currently, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been received by all nine pre-designated sites in L.A County and this initial allocation is being used by acute care hospitals to vaccinate health care personnel. Healthcare workers are prioritized for vaccination based on their job duties and associated risks of exposure to COVID-19 as well as risks of severe disease. A second allotment of Pfizer vaccine is anticipated to arrive next week and will be used to vaccinate additional healthcare workers at acute care hospitals. If the Moderna vaccine receives EUA, doses of this vaccine should arrive in L.A. County next week as well. These doses will be used to vaccinate residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities and frontline EMS responders.

Public Health will host the L.A County COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30pm. Join the town hall to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, how it was developed, where it will be distributed in communities, and when it will be made available to the general public. The town hall will be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @lapublichealth. For more information and to submit a question, visit: http://tinyurl.com/askcovidtownhall

Of the 102 new deaths reported today, 43 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 26 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 18 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and 11 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Seventy-two people who died had underlying health conditions including 33 people over the age of 80 years old, 19 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 13 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and seven people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Four deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach.

“We send our deepest condolences to the many people grieving the loss of a family member or friend who passed away due to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “There is an increasingly bright light at the end of this pandemic for us as a second vaccine gets closer to emergency use authorization. However, we are months away from having enough vaccine widely available in L.A. County. Until then, we need to make choices in our daily lives to protect ourselves and others. The devastation we are experiencing now is in part because many people ignored warnings and made the decision to travel or visit with people from outside of their home over the Thanksgiving holidays. We are now learning a very painful lesson that, despite how much we want things to go back to normal, this virus is relentless and will continue to spread, make people very ill, and tragically lead to people passing away. We can't afford another holiday season surge that will further overwhelm our already strained hospitals and healthcare staff. We must all work together to prevent as much death as possible."

Right now, the most important action for everyone to take to stop the surge is to stay home as much as possible and not mingle with others not in your household. Only go out for work, exercise or for essential services. When you must leave your home, always wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with at all times. Individuals with underlying health conditions and those that are older should remain in their home and not be around others unless seeking routine or essential health and dental care.

If you have symptoms or concerns you were exposed, get tested for COVID-19 and isolate immediately from your family and others if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. If you are having difficulty breathing, go to an emergency room or call 911. The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

Please see additional information below:

Laboratory Confirmed Total Cases 580325 *

Deaths 8664

Age Group (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

Gender (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

Hospitalization

Deaths Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

CITY / COMMUNITY (Rate**)

These numbers are subject to change based on further investigation. 98 cases and 6 deaths previously reported were not in Public Health's jurisdiction. * Means that case numbers include cases associated with correctional facility outbreaks located in the city/community. **Rate is crude and is per 100,000. This represents the number of cases per 100,000 people and allows for the proportional comparison of cities of different sizes.

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichealth .lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lapublichealth, facebook.com/lapublichealth, instagram.com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/lapublichealth.




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