Los Angeles won’t lift Covid restrictions until the end of the year: Officially – Deadline

“We won’t hit the 80% threshold by the beginning of the year,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Health Director, today of the county’s vaccination progress. Then she remarked, “This is one of the 4 actions we need to take to lift the restrictions.” Translation: LA’s public mask and vaccination regulations are in place at least until early 2022.

Ferrer’s assessment comes just a day after Governor Gavin Newsom extended the California state of emergency related to Covid to March 2022, when it will be in effect for two years. It also comes a day after the AMPTP and Hollywood unions extended the Covid-19 safety protocol agreement to January 15, 2022.

Given the year-over-year decline in daily case numbers (from 2,152 to 1,344) and hospital admissions (from 903 to 633), the Public Health Director said the numbers were still too high and the daily virus-related death report (22 vs. . 25) remains almost identical to the previous year.

“The similar number of deaths is a reminder of the destructive power of this virus, and the [still] relatively high case numbers and hospital admissions reflect the dominance of the more contagious Delta variant, ”Ferrer said during a media briefing.

While 95% of LA County can now be vaccinated, the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated is only 63%. While there was an increase in both the booster syringes and the first doses (the latter likely due to recent approval for children ages 5-11), the number of second doses remains fairly constant. That also means the new number of people fully vaccinated each week is 44,000 / week, according to the LACPH numbers announced today.


Ferrer said today that 80% of the eligible LA County’s population must be vaccinated to overcome one of four hurdles (there are actually five listed on the health officer’s order) for the removal of current mandates for indoor masks and vaccine verification rooms are provided.

Based on the current modeling, Ferrer said the county will need to fully vaccinate 70,000 residents per week to meet the vaccination threshold set in the county’s health department ordinance by Jan. 1. And that estimate is based on a smaller number of residents over the age of 12, not the larger pool of residents five and over that is now eligible.

Ferrer also failed to disclose the numerical thresholds for compliance with the remaining four measures listed in the public health department’s ordinance. Without clear thresholds, it’s hard to tell how far Angelenos is from lifting the restrictions.

Considerations for lifting masking and vaccination control restrictions in the current LA County Health Officials order include “but not limited to” the following:

1.) The number of hospitalizations, new cases and deaths in underserved communities

2.) The fall rate

3.) Test positive rate

4.) The percentage of vaccinated residents of the county and the availability of doses

5.) The number of fully vaccinated people who fall ill, are hospitalized or die of Covid

The order states that Dr. Muntu Davis, the county health officer, “will continue to monitor epidemiological data and assess the impact of lifting restrictions and fully reopening sectors.

The moving average daily rate of people who tested positive for the virus remains low at 0.98%. Last week it was over 1% and last year at that time it was 5.6%.

The county’s cumulative seven-day case rate, as estimated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has risen to 98 cases per 100,000 population, according to Ferrer. That number was two weeks ago in the mid-1970s.

With 98 cases per 100,000 residents, the county is on the verge of being moved from the CDC’s “significant” transmission category to the “widespread” category, further removing it from lifting the Covid-related restrictions.

LA County’s Mask Ordinance, which went into effect July 18 this year, “requires all individuals to wear face masks regardless of vaccination status in all indoor public spaces and businesses.”

The vaccination mandate requires proof of full vaccination to be required for almost all indoor public spaces in Los Angeles – including movie theaters, concert halls, indoor restaurants, gyms, bars, large outdoor events, and some urban buildings.

Both mandates are to be checked by the venues, with warnings and then escalating penalties in the event of non-compliance.

The city news service contributed to this contribution.

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