Public Health Encourages Celebrating Upcoming Holidays with Just Your Household
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 160 new deaths and 3,489 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 1,158,619 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 18,658 deaths.
There are 3,772 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, a reduction of more than 1,000 patients in a week, and 29% of these people are in the ICU. A week ago, on February 4, there were 4,990 people hospitalized. This is still more than 4 times higher than pre-surge daily hospitalizations when between mid-September and late-October, the daily number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was under 800 people.
After the winter holidays, L.A. County experienced significant increases in cases and hospitalizations within a few weeks. With continued widespread transmission of the virus in L.A. County, Public Health urges everyone to take extra measures to protect each other as the Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day, and Presidents Day holidays approach. Being around people who aren’t part of your household puts you at a greater risk for COVID-19. So, the best way to stay safe is to celebrate with just your household and connect virtually with friends and family that don't live with you.
It is critically important that residents not attend any private gatherings or leave their home if they are experiencing symptoms of illness, have tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have been exposed or likely have been exposed to someone who is positive.
Testing results are available for more than 5,647,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today's daily test positivity rate is 6.8%. Please get tested if you have symptoms or an exposure and isolate immediately from your family and others if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
Of the 160 new deaths reported today, 39 people who passed away were over the age of 80, 58 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 33 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and 11 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. Twelve deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and two deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.
“I extend my sincere sympathies to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. "L.A. County has made encouraging progress in all the key indicators this month. Let us not step backward on our recovery journey. We know from experience that gatherings, parties, and the other activities we usually do with non-household members on holidays leads to increases in transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths. Continuing to slow transmission requires limiting the number of people we interact with. If we do not gather, we save lives."
Public Health continues to track the impact of COVID-19 on expecting and new moms and newborns. As of February 8, there have been a total of nine deaths among the 6,042 pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19. Seventy-nine percent of pregnant women testing positive for COVID-19 are Latina/Latinx, 9% are White, 4% are African American/Black, 4% are Asian, less than 1% are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 2% identify with another race, and race/ethnicity was unknown or unspecified for 2%. Among the 3,703 births where there was testing information, 48 infants tested positive for the virus.
Public Health encourages expecting and new moms to take extra care and remain home as much as possible to avoid exposure to COVID-19. If you are sick or positive for COVID-19 and breastfeeding, wear a mask while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and be sure to wash your hands before touching the baby or any pump or bottle before using. If possible, ask someone else to feed the baby your breastmilk by bottle. Public Health has detailed guidance for expecting and new moms available online.
Residents are encouraged to visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com to learn about the vaccination phases, determine when it is your turn to get vaccinated, and sign-up for our COVID-19 vaccine newsletter. This week, appointments at the large capacity vaccination sites are booked for second doses. We are hopeful in the coming weeks that more vaccine will become available.
The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.