Pandemic Claims Youngest Victim in LA County – NBC Los Angeles

A 15-month-old child was among 91 reported COVID-related deaths Wednesday in Los Angeles County.

The child is the county’s youngest victim since the start of the pandemic, health officials said.

“The virus can cause devastating outcomes among those most vulnerable, including young children not yet eligible for vaccinations,'” the health department said in a statement.

Details about the 15-month-old child were not released.

The 91 total new deaths reported Wednesday is among the highest daily totals reported in the past year, raising the county’s overall virus death toll to 28,630.

The county also confirmed 20,866 new COVID cases on Wednesday, bringing the cumulative pandemic total to 2,560,768. Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of the county’s first confirmed COVID case.

According to state figures, there were 4,534 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, down from 4,554 on Tuesday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 780, a slight drop from 785 a day earlier.

The rolling daily average of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 13.6% as of Wednesday.

Health officials noted that the positivity rate is noticeably lower in schools. For the week that ended Sunday, testing of students and school staff across the county was at 7%, one-third lower than the previous week.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which represents the bulk of school COVID testing in the county, reported late Wednesday that students were testing positive for the virus at an average rate of 8.1% over the past week, while the positivity rate for school staff was 5%.

The district also reported an improving attendance rate among students, at 83.4% as of Wednesday. On Jan 13, the attendance rate at LAUSD was 66.8%.

The LAUSD this week tightened its mask-wearing requirement for students, mandating that they wear upgraded surgical-grade or N95-type masks, rather than cloth ones. The district also extended through February its mandated weekly testing for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status.

The Department of Public Health plans to distribute another 1 million at-home COVID test kits to school districts over the next two weeks to facilitate easy access to testing.

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