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For Immediate Release:

April 21, 2021

As Additional Variant Cases Are Identified, Public Health Encourages Safety Measures and Vaccinations to Reduce Risk of Getting COVID-19 Infection

35 New Deaths and 439 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 35 new deaths and 439 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 1,229,998 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,702 deaths.

As of April 18, more than 6,488,391 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the County, including 4,176,360 first doses. Already, almost 2,312,031 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Over the past two and a half months, with vaccination campaigns aimed at increasing uptake in communities of color, the County has seen vaccine uptake increase 170% in Black communities, 151% among multiracial individuals, 130% in American Indian/Alaska Natives, 129% among Latinx residents, 91% among Asian residents, and 78% among White residents.

The County has now vaccinated about half of Asian, White, and American Indian/Alaska Native residents in L.A. County and have also made some important gains in vaccinating multiracial community members, where vaccinations increased from 11% to 37% with one dose. In Latinx residents, the vaccinated proportion of the population increased more than fourfold of what it was two months ago, and in Black residents, the proportion increased more than threefold.

Over the course of the pandemic leading up to the very early days of the vaccine rollout, the County saw about 1 in every 10 L.A. County residents get infected with COVID-19 – and that’s a very low-end estimate of the real numbers, given how many people who were infected but didn’t get tested for one reason or another. During that same period, we saw about 1 in every 500 L.A. County residents die from COVID-19.

Looking at the data on breakthrough infections after vaccination that the CDC released last week, the risk of infection in people who are fully vaccinated was 1 in 13,275 – much less common than 1 in 10 infected with COVID-19 who were not vaccinated. And the risk of death goes from 1 in 500 to 1 in a million.

If you’re taking a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, getting the second dose is important. Although one vaccine gives you 50% to 80% protection, the second dose offers nearly 100% protection from getting a severe case of COVID-19. Please make sure you show up for your appointment for your second dose, and if you don’t have an appointment, please contact your vaccination provider to schedule a time to receive your second dose. As a reminder, if you received Moderna for your first dose, you need to get Moderna for your second dose; if you received Pfizer the first time, you will need a Pfizer vaccine the second time. Your vaccination card tells you which vaccine you received. As a reminder, for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are done. It is one dose, you wait two weeks and you are fully protected.

"We extend our thoughts and prayers to every person and family mourning the loss of their loved one and wish you healing and peace during this most difficult time," said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. "For those of you who feel scared about getting vaccinated because of the very small chance of a serious side effect, think about the other things we do where you also have a small chance of a bad outcome. For example, the risk of dying during a 200-mile car trip in the state of California is about one in a million – but if someone told you they were taking you on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Monterey, you’d probably go. And our chances of getting food poisoning every year is 1 in 6, but we are still comfortable eating at a friend’s house or our favorite restaurant. Meanwhile, the risk of having a serious side effect from COVID-19 vaccination is about 1 in a million. If you’re looking for a way to dramatically reduce your risk of getting infected with COVID-19 or dying from infection, getting a vaccine is an exceptionally powerful tool for doing that. I hope you’ll all speak with your family and friends about getting vaccinated as soon as you’re able."

L.A. County’s case rate remains low and stable. On March 13, the County was seeing 544 cases a day. A month later, on April 13, that number decreased to 413 cases a day, a 24% decrease. Over the same period of time, the County saw a 24% drop in daily hospitalizations, from 544 to 413, and daily deaths dropped even more dramatically by 84% from 31 to 5.

Public Health continues to identify variant cases in Los Angeles County. The two most commonly circulating variants of concern in L.A. County have been and remain the UK (B.1.1.7) and California (B.1.427/429) variants. Of the 59 specimens analyzed by the L.A. County Public Health Laboratory in the past week, 50% were the UK variant and 10% were the California variant. Most of the specimens analyzed were associated with clusters of cases, and where specimens were sequenced from larger outbreaks, the UK variant is currently identified more often than other virus variants. The Public Health Laboratory did not detect any additional Brazil (P.1) variants last week, although it is likely there are undetected cases of this variant circulating in our region.

The identification of these variants highlights the need for L.A. County residents to continue to take measures to protect themselves and others including wearing a mask, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from those who do not live in your household, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. All currently available information indicates that vaccines appear to be highly effective in preventing transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths, even with the increased presence of variants.

There are 484 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 6,360,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Today's daily test positivity rate is 0.9%.

Of the 35 new deaths reported today, 13 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 11 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, nine people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49.

Throughout the pandemic, the higher the levels of area poverty, the higher the rates of death due to COVID-19 infection. Fortunately, with significantly less community transmission, death rates have plummeted across all communities and the difference in the rates between communities with high rates of poverty and communities with very little poverty has narrowed to 0.8%.

The pandemic also disproportionately affected Non-White populations in the County. The impact on Pacific Islanders was particularly severe, with nearly 6 times as high a hospitalization rate as among White residents, and more than 3 times as high a death rate. Although Latino/Latinx residents were hospitalized at only 2.9 times as high a rate as White residents, they died from their infections at 3 times as high a rate. Black/African American (1.7), American Indian/Alaskan Native (1.6), and Asian (1.3) residents also died of COVID-19 at rates higher than those of White residents.

The County recently modified required safety measures when you host or attend an informal gathering, increasing the maximum number of people who can attend an outdoor gathering to 50 with safety measures in place. Although Public Health continues to discourage indoor gatherings, these can happen with up to 25 people or at 25% of occupancy where capacity limits exist with safety measures in place. At informal gatherings where everyone is vaccinated: in these cases, you can socialize without masking and distancing.

Outdoors is still safer than indoors. When you’re socializing informally with unvaccinated people, try to gather outdoors or if you must gather indoors, open the windows and doors to increase air circulation in the place where you’re gathering and follow safety measures including keeping your masks on unless you’re eating or drinking, and if you are gathering indoors, step outside to eat and drink so the area around you is well ventilated while your mask is off. Maintain your distance, and make sure you wash or sanitize your hands often. And as best you can, use your normal voice even if things get exciting – shouting, cheering, and singing spread the virus more efficiently.

Everyone living or working in L.A. County 16 and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. To learn how to make an appointment, what verifications people will need to show at the vaccination appointment, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

County Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional actions you can take 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 1229998*

Deaths 23702

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** CASES (Case Rate)

These numbers are subject to change based on further investigation. 82 cases and 1 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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