The worrying Delta variant sent more coronavirus-infected Los Angeles County residents to hospitals on Monday, August 2. Still, a new month brought new hope that more people were heeding recent news from public health officials to get vaccinated.
The state reported that 1,138 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase from 42 from Sunday; 248 patients were in the intensive care unit, 12 more than the day before. Statistics reflect a nearly four-fold increase in just one month – on July 2, only 280 people were hospitalized with the virus.
As the numbers likely reflect a delay caused by a reduced record of weekend records, officials reported 2,361 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths on Monday. The total since the pandemic began rose to 1,305,704 positive cases and 24,690 deaths.
While the number of people remained sobering, glimmers began to emerge that more people were receiving the vaccine, the primary weapon public health officials have used to fight the virus.
The number of people getting their first vaccination at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is up 40% compared to the previous week, the hospital said in a statement that “more people are finally getting their vaccinations.”
600 people were vaccinated at the hospital, which is in line with nationwide increases showing that the number of first doses in the week of July 19 increased 20% compared to July 12.
Providence’s network of local clinics also reported increased demand at its San Fernando Valley locations, including Pacoima, Reseda and Canoga Park.
“At our clinics in the San Fernando Valley, we have seen increased demand for pop-up clinics that we run in partnership with churches and religious organizations,” said Anthony Ortiz Luis, director of community health investments for the valley. “Over the past month we have examined an average of more than 125 people in the pop-up clinics that we have conducted in churches.”
That was a significant increase from June, when the pop-up clinics had an average of around 50 to 75 appointments per clinic.
LA County has generally seen an increase in the number of people receiving a first dose for two straight weeks. Barbara Ferrer, director of the district health department, said last week that about 70,000 doses were given in the district from July 19-25, about 7,500 more than the week before.
“Any increase in the number of people being vaccinated at this point is very welcome news,” said Dr. Soniya Gandhi, Infectious Disease Specialist, Vice President Medical Affairs and Associate Chief Medial Officer at Cedars-Sinai.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said over the weekend he wasn’t expecting any more lockdowns in the US because he believes enough people have been vaccinated to avoid a repeat of last winter’s mammoth count. Many local public health experts agree.
However, Fauci did not say that enough people were vaccinated to “kill the outbreak” at this point.
Fauci’s warning came days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course to recommend that even vaccinated people in parts of the US return to wearing masks in which the Delta variant is fueling flare-ups. With the switch, federal health officials have cited studies showing that vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others.
LA County reintroduced its internal mask mandate on July 17th.
Health officials in seven Bay Area counties tightened their local recommendation to include inner masks on Monday.
Health officials in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma counties, and the city of Berkeley, jointly announced the new local health ordinances for the use of face coverings indoors.
“It is unfortunate that we have to do this at this point in the pandemic,” said Dr. George Han, assistant health officer for Santa Clara County. “Neither of us wanted to be here. But the virus has changed. We actually agree that everyone should mask themselves when they are indoors – they will find a way to get you. “
The rekindled mask mandates had become a focus of renewed political tension over the response to the resurgent virus. US Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, was the first Senator to announce a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated against the coronavirus, and said Monday he was “very glad” to have received the vaccine without his current one Symptoms would be “far worse”. ”
In a statement released Monday afternoon, the 66-year-old Republican from South Carolina said he “got flu-like symptoms Saturday night” and went to see a doctor Monday morning.
The unvaccinated continue to bear the brunt of the Delta variant, officials said. The county’s numbers show that as of July 27, of 4.9 million residents fully vaccinated, 10,656 tested positive for the virus, a rate of 0.22%. This rate represents a 63% increase over the previous week, but is still statistically low.
Of those vaccinated, only 410 were hospitalized, which is a rate of 0.008%, and only 35 died, which is a rate of 0.0007%.
From January 1 to June 30 this year, 99.8% of people who died from COVID-19 were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, Ferrer said.
The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this story.
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