Los Angeles

With Rose Parade, other gatherings looming, LA County officials urge COVID vigilance – Daily News

COVID-19 has not thrived as a lot this winter because it did the previous two years, however Los Angeles County public well being officials on Thursday, Dec. 29, nonetheless urged folks to stay vigilant, particularly with extra vacation gatherings anticipated this weekend — the Rose Parade chief amongst them.

“Go ahead and put that mask on when you’re close to other people,” Barbara Ferrer, LA County’s public well being director, mentioned Thursday, referring to the Rose Parade on Monday, Jan. 2. “It’s not that big of an inconvenience; it really helps to stop transmission.”

About 800,000 folks  — and as many as 1 million — usually line Colorado Boulevard for the Rose Parade, based on Pasadena. And regardless that the coronavirus doesn’t unfold as properly outside because it does inside, that many individuals crammed collectively for hours, within the chilly, may nonetheless lead to COVID-19 transmission.

Add New Year’s Eve events and vacation journey — together with for the Rose Bowl, that includes the University of Utah versus Penn State — to the combo and the potential is there for an additional bump within the winter surge.

That’s why Ferrer and other well being officials proceed urging people to take precautions, resembling masking and staying dwelling when sick.

“This is still a very dangerous and serious virus,” Ferrer mentioned throughout her weekly COVID-19 briefing on Thursday. “Hopefully, we’re able, with the tools at hand, to prevent the health care system from being overly stressed.”

Despite these considerations, case numbers continued declining this week, with a mean of two,300 day by day instances reported, Ferrer mentioned; that represented a 13% lower from the two,600 common instances per day reported final week.

The metric, nevertheless, doesn’t seize all instances, she added, with so many individuals testing at dwelling or under no circumstances.

There have been 3,986 new instances reported Thursday, bringing the county’s all-time complete to three,628,357, together with these reported in Pasadena and Long Beach. There have been 25 new deaths Thursday and 1,269 folks presently within the hospital with COVID-19.

“We are seeing some positive signs and I believe we all can play a role in helping to continue those trends into the new year,” Ferrer mentioned. “I hope we can get through this winter without the devastation of previous surges.”

There was a mean of 15 COVID-19-related deaths per day this week, which Ferrer mentioned is a small, however welcome, lower from the 21 deaths per day reported final week.

Despite the triple menace of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus — or RSV — this winter, coronavirus-related deaths stay above these from other respiratory viruses, Ferrer mentioned. Since October, 764 LA County residents have died from COVID-19-related sickness, in comparison with an estimated 360 individuals who have died from the flu.

“While any drop in cases, hospitalizations and deaths is positive news,” Ferrer mentioned, “it’s still important to maintain perspective.”

COVID-19-related hospital admissions, nevertheless, are not taking place like they have been in latest weeks, following a peak in early December. Ferrer reported a mean of 192 hospitalizations per day this week, a slight enhance from the 178 admissions per day per week in the past.

Those charges are double what they have been mid-November, she added, and are a lot increased than they have been throughout the peak of the summer time surge.

Hospital admission figures had fallen earlier this month, sufficient for the county to maneuver out of the “high” transmission class and into “medium,” as outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The present rate of recent instances is 157 per 100,000 folks, which retains the county within the “medium” transmission tier.

But that might change as soon as the CDC updates its COVID-19 information, which it had not but carried out on the time of Thursday’s briefing.

“We expect to stay in the medium community transmission level this week,” Ferrer mentioned, “but since we haven’t seen CDC numbers, this could change.”

Nonetheless, she added, it’s attainable {that a} post-holiday rise in instances may transfer the county again to the “high” degree in January. So Ferrer as soon as once more urged residents to layer on protections over the subsequent few weeks, resembling staying dwelling when sick, washing fingers ceaselessly and sporting masks, all of which can even stop the flu and RSV from spreading.

“The encouraging decline is caused by those taking preventive measures,” Ferrer mentioned. “I hope these measures will prevent a second sharp rise in cases as folks return from winter break travel and gatherings.”

A small enhance in COVID-19 instances, although, is predicted due to journey and gathering throughout the winter holidays, Ferrer mentioned — particularly, the Rose Parade.

Pasadena public well being officials, for his or her half, additionally inspired folks to make knowledgeable selections to guard their well being and well-being throughout vacation actions this weekend, although they did say the open-air nature of the Rose Parade reduces threat.

“Open air venues and events such as the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game help mitigate concerns of spreading viruses,” Pasadena spokesperson Lisa Derderian mentioned by e mail Thursday. “We continue to remind everyone to wash hands often, stay home if sick and wear masks if recommended or have a comfort level doing so.”

That metropolis additionally inspired widespread sense protocols amongst households who will probably be in shut proximity to every other when tenting alongside the parade route, resembling not co-mingling or sharing meals and drinks.

Ferrer, in the meantime, additionally urged everybody returning to work and college after winter break to put on masks for the primary 10 days again in workplaces and on campuses to stop a spike, which occurred after the earlier two pandemic-era winter breaks.

The public well being director sounded an optimistic tone, saying she sees extra folks sporting masks and is hopeful that people will proceed utilizing them and other precautions to guard every other.

Indoor masking mandates, although, would solely come again if there have been a menace to the well being care system, Ferrer mentioned, not simply when transmission hikes.

Still, hospital admission charges are going up once more.

And so, Ferrer as soon as once more inspired the 6 million vaccinated people who haven’t but obtained the bivalent booster to take action; that booster protects in opposition to each the unique coronavirus pressure and the omicron variants. Across the county, 20% of those that are eligible have gotten the bivalent booster, she mentioned; amongst these at the least 65 years outdated, the rate was 35%.

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