AS Los Angeles County continues to experience fewer cases and hospitalizations, spread of the virus can be further decreased when those infected or exposed adhere to isolation, testing, and masking guidance.
Similar to requirements for the general population, students and staff with COVID-19 can end isolation after day five if: a COVID-19 test on day five or later is negative, there is no fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine, and existing symptoms have subsided or are improving. Those with a known exposure can continue their customary activities, including attending school and extracurricular activities, provided they are asymptomatic, have a negative test between days three to five, and wear a mask when around others indoors.
The county has continued to report improved COVID-19 metrics. The 7-day average case count in the county is 1,745, a 28% decline from one week ago when an average of 2,438 cases were reported.
Over the past seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in LA County hospitals was 772, a 5% decline from one week ago when the average number of daily COVID-positive patients per day was 813.
Deaths, which typically lag hospitalizations by several weeks, have started to decrease slightly to an average of 11 deaths reported each day this past week, compared to an average of 13 daily reported deaths one week ago.
And the 7-day average test positivity rate is 6.3% over the past week, down from one week ago when it was 7.1%.
The county’s lower transmission rate is reflected on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Level framework, which measures COVID-19 stress on the hospital system. The county is in the second week of the Low Community Level, with a weekly case rate of 159 cases per 100,000, a hospital admission rate of 7.8 new admissions per 100,000 people, and 4.6% of total hospital admissions among COVID-19 patients.
The Omicron variant continues to account for 100% of sequenced specimens in the county, with the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron as the predominant subvariant. For the week ending Aug. 20, 95% of all sequenced specimens were BA.5. The CDC has reported an increase in the BA.4.6 sublineage of Omicron across the country, especially in the Midwest, estimating that 8.4% of sequenced specimens were BA.4.6 as of Sept. 3. However, BA.4.6 has remained at very low levels in LA County, and for the week ending Aug. 20, the most recent data available, BA.4.6 accounted for 1.4% of specimens.
Since schools reopened in August, the number of clusters of three or more linked cases and outbreaks declined last week after a month of steady increases. For the week ending Sept. 3 there were 309 reported clusters of three or more cases, nearly a 31% decrease from the week prior when 446 clusters of cases were reported. There has also been a total of 926 school clusters reported that involved more than 6,000 individuals, of which 5,702 were students.
Also, in the month since schools reopened, 63 outbreaks have been documented in schools, with 36 reported in elementary schools, 12 reported in middle schools, 10 associated with youth sports programs, and four reported at high schools.
“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As the new school year is underway, it’s important for all students and staff to follow isolation and quarantine guidelines when they are infected or are exposed to someone with COVID-19. With a highly transmissible variant, continued concerns related to mortality, reinfections and long-COVID, and tens of thousands of vulnerable residents, taking sensible steps to avoid infecting others remains important. We know how quickly one case can infect others, creating clusters and outbreaks in classrooms, sports teams, and other settings. When everyone looks out for each other by staying home when ill and masking indoors when exiting isolation early and when identified as a close contact, there are likely to be fewer disruptions at schools and worksites.”
Public Health reported 15 additional deaths and 2,228 new positive cases. Of the 15 new deaths reported today, one person was between the ages of 30-49, four people were between the ages of 65-79, and eight people were aged 80 years or older. Information on the two deaths reported by the City of Long Beach, visit longbeach.gov. Of the 15 newly reported deaths, 13 had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 33,348.
Public Health has reported a total of 3,425,863 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 6.3%.
There are 765 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 12,499,068 individuals, with 24% of people testing positive. (AJPress)