COVID-19 hospital admissions fell below 800 in Los Angeles County on Sunday, dropped 35 people to 790 and continued a month-long downtrend.
The number of COVID-positive patients in the intensive care unit in the district also fell from 231 on Saturday to 228, according to the state.
The number of COVID-positive people hospitalized in the county has fallen 30 times in the past 34 days, down from a summer high of nearly 1,800. Infection rates among residents and employees of qualified care facilities have also fallen, the Los Angeles County Department of Health reported on Friday.
The department also reported 1,032 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths on Sunday, though those numbers likely reflect the weekend reporting delays.
Health officials say about 90% of the people who have died from COVID-19 had pre-existing health conditions.
The rolling average daily rate of people who tested positive for the virus remained low at around 1.7% on Friday.
According to the health department, 41 new COVID infections were reported in qualified care facilities in the week up to September 19 – 25 among residents and 16 among staff. In the week of August 8th, 123 new cases were reported in care facilities.
However, the county found that more than half of the 41 cases reported in the week ending September 19 were among staff and residents who were fully vaccinated.
County officials said 88% of skilled workers at care facilities in the area are fully vaccinated and 91% of the workforce. A mandate that came into force on Thursday requires all SNSF employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID, while those receiving medical or religious exemptions must undergo a test twice a week.
“We thank all health care workers who comply with state and county vaccination regulations,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
“Your support ensures that we protect each other and our patients while we adhere to these and other public health safety measures.
“We’re also helping the state add COVID-19 to the list of already required vaccines for schools,” she said. “Of the teenagers aged 12-17 who are eligible for the vaccine, 59% are fully vaccinated. Because vaccines are an extremely safe and highly protective line of defense against COVID-19, our focus is still on keeping vaccination rates that way increase as quickly as possible. “
Figures released by Ferrer on Thursday showed that 77% of eligible Los Angeles County residents ages 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine and 69% are fully vaccinated. Of the total of 10.3 million residents of the district, including those under the age of 12, who are not yet eligible for a vaccination, 66% have received at least one dose and 59% are fully vaccinated.
While Ferrer said the totals were impressive, “millions of eligible residents are unvaccinated”.
Black residents still have the lowest vaccination rate in the county, with only 54% receiving at least one dose. Latino / a residents have a 62% vaccination rate, while 72% of white residents receive at least one dose and 81% of Asians.
Starting Thursday, anyone attending an outdoor mega-event with 10,000 or more people in the county, and anyone visiting or working at an indoor bar, brewery, winery, or distillery will have at least one dose of the vaccine necessary. Full vaccination is required in these facilities from November 4th. The city of West Hollywood has issued a similar mandate for indoor business with the same deadline, and the city of Los Angeles is expected to approve the same rule this week.
Los Angeles Unified School District students participating in extracurricular activities must be fully vaccinated by October 31st, while all district students must be fully vaccinated by December 19th.