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For Immediate Release:

May 14, 2021

Public Health Continues Tracking Variants of Concern in L.A. County and Around the Country; Studies Show Vaccine Appears to Be Effective Against Variants

Public Health Reports 17 New Deaths and 583 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

Today, Public Health has confirmed 17 new deaths and 583 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. The higher number of reported cases today is due to a backlog from a single provider that reported over 300 positive lab results from January. In total, Public Health has identified 1,236,988 cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and 24,074 deaths.

Of the 17 new deaths reported today, nine people that passed away were over the age of 80, five people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, two people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49.

There are 366 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 6,624,000 individuals with 17% of people testing positive. Today's daily test positivity rate is 0.5%.

Public Health continues to track and study variants of COVID-19 in the County. Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, changes constantly through mutation, and the more transmission there is of the virus, the more mutations there will be. 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 79 specimens analyzed by the L.A. County Public Health Laboratory in the past week, 35% were the UK variant and 6% were the California variant. The lab also detected 11 Brazil (P.1) variants last week, a significant increase from prior sequencing results.

The identification of these variants and the news of spreading variants from across the globe highlights the need for L.A. County residents to continue to take measures to protect themselves and others; this is particularly true for those who are not vaccinated who can end up unknowingly being incubators of variants of concern. If you are not yet vaccinated or unable to get vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of distance when around others not in your household and consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. All of the information currently available indicates that vaccines appear to be highly effective in preventing transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths, even with the increased presence of variants.

“While we are grateful that our case numbers continue to remain low and stable, there are still many families in our County that are experiencing the loss of a loved one to COVID-19. For those grieving right now, we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Across the world and here in California, we remain troubled by the proliferation of variants of concern. These variants, which are more infectious and deadly than other strains, are a good reason for those not vaccinated to get vaccinated. People who are vaccinated have a powerful layer of protection. In large studies that involved a diverse mix of people, all three vaccines were shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, including severe illness and death. In addition, current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants and significantly reduce the risk of becoming infected.”

Public Health continues to offer vaccinations without appointments at County-run vaccination sites while supply lasts. Anyone 12 years and older living or working in Los Angeles County can now get vaccinated without booking an appointment (teens 12 to 17 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). Registration for COVID-19 appointments will be completed on-site.

To find a vaccination site near you, to make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish) If you don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or you’re over 65, you can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

Public Health will host a Vaccine Town Hall for Parents on Tuesday, May 18, at 6:00 p.m. Join the town hall to get the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine, including information for children. The town hall will be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @lapublichealth. For more information and to submit a question, visit: tinyurl.com/VaxTownHall4Parents.

County Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, 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 1236988*

Deaths 24074

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. 51 cases 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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