The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 91 new deaths and 1,407 cases of COVID-19, on Tuesday. There are 1,502 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 32% in the I.C.U.
Despite lower case and hospitalization numbers than at the height of the winter surge, Los Angeles County remains in the most restrictive Purple Tier in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. In order to move into the less restrictive Red Tier, that allows for additional re-openings, L.A. County’s daily case rate must be at or below seven new cases per 100,000 people and the county’s test positivity rate must be at or below 8%.
Tuesday, the state released updated numbers; L.A. County’s adjusted case rate is 7.2 new cases per 100,000 people and the test positivity rate is 3.5%. If Los Angeles County’s adjusted case rate drops to seven new cases per 100,000 people next week, the county must continue to show a case rate of seven new cases per 100,000 people or less for two consecutive weeks before it can move to the Red Tier and be eligible for additional re-openings, including on-site learning for seventh grade through 12.
“L.A. County is very close to meeting the metric thresholds for the less restrictive red tier in the State’s Blueprint for a Safety Economy, which will provide our county with more opportunities to reopen for additional activities,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “Since there is still widespread transmission occurring in our county, we are hoping we do not see increases in the number of daily cases in the upcoming weeks that will pause our recovery journey and cause more hospitalizations. With an increase in the circulation of variants, we need to ask our residents, workers, and businesses to continue following the safety measures and implement Health Officer Order directives, including wearing a mask and physically distancing from others not in your household to prevent spread.”
The situation in the county may further improve once doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine starts arriving. When doses come into L.A. County, a vaccine that is 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization and death, the county hopes it will improve vaccine supply. The county is working to ensure that eligible residents and workers in the hardest hit communities have increased access to vaccines. Healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, people 65 or older, education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, and emergency service workers and law enforcement are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.