Los Angeles County has moved to the CDC’s “Medium” level, where it is expected to remain for the foreseeable future, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths are all down dramatically, and the strain on the county’s health care system has eased somewhat. Case rates are down 22% in the past week and hospitalizations are down to 9.9 per 100,000 people.
COVID-19-related deaths have also decreased by 21%. However, the weekly average of deaths is just under 14 per day.
Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer expressed that after brushing close to the county with the indoor mask mandate, the news was welcome and her optimism at the department’s weekly news conference sounded less cautious.
“As you all know, on July 14 Los Angeles County went from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ community level under the CDC,” Ferrer said. “According to the data we saw this morning, declines in the admissions rate in Los Angeles County should bring us down from ‘high’ to ‘medium’ today.”
Ferrer said that while last winter’s wave was driven by the Omicron variant, this summer’s increase was primarily caused by Omicron sub-variables – such as BA.4 and BA.5. Ferrer said that both of those variables appear to be stabilizing and that a new, rapidly spreading alternative that is sweeping the county does not appear to be on the horizon.
“This gives us hope that the recent decline in cases may continue for a few weeks to come, recognizing that we cannot predict with certainty the future course of SARS-CoV-2 mutations, or when worrying new variants emerge, or the behaviors we are all involved in.” Which gives us some protection.”
Ferrer also wanted to note that these new variables still pose a risk of reinfection, even if someone already has COVID-19, and that re-infection can put a person at risk of “long-term COVID,” which could increase the chance of developing a heart condition or lung. illness.
Back to school
During the public health press conference, Ferrer wanted to reaffirm the protocols and regulations related to COVID-19 in preparation for the upcoming school year and also thanked several people for making them happen.
“I want to start by commending the administrators, our business partners, teachers, staff, students and parents for their truly outstanding efforts to create safety in schools,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer said all schools should have their COVID-19 control in place and have plans in place in the event of an outbreak and an emergency plan to close them partially or completely in the event of a major outbreak. Every COVID case must be considered in schools and universities must manage any major outbreaks.
As for concealment, schools must provide masks to all staff and teachers, and if indoor masks are mandated, everyone will be required to wear them. If an employee is allowed to return to campus after contracting COVID-19 and quarantined for the required five days, they must wear a mask until the 10th day after being infected.
Children should self-isolate at home for at least five days before returning to school. Public schools will also still retain the option to enforce their own mask mandates.
Ferrer also made several recommendations, but not requirements, on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as reducing crowding in the classroom, doing certain outdoor activities, and improving ventilation systems. It also promoted vaccination, saying it “remains the most powerful tool available for preventing severe disease, both for adults and children.”
Ferrer also announced that the California Department of Energy is offering a third round of funding to public schools through a program called CalSHAPE. CalSHAPE will provide funding for ventilation upgrades and maintenance.
“With the start of the school year, we are in a much better place than we were a year ago in this pandemic,” Ferrer said. “We have vaccines available to all children 6 months of age and older, we have good access to treatments and testing, and we have a wealth of knowledge about this virus.”
In addition to COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations regarding returning to school, Ferrer also provided information regarding monkeypox and the risks to children.
Ferrer said there are many causes of rashes in children and that the risk of developing it is very low. However, if a parent sees a rash, they should consult their pediatrician as soon as possible.
The keynote briefing on monkeypox was given by Dr. Rita Singhal, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Office of Disease Control at the Ministry of Health. Singhal said that while cases are on the rise worldwide, the United States, and in Los Angeles County, no deaths have been reported here yet.
In Los Angeles County, there are currently 738 cases of monkeypox with an average age of infection of 35 years. Thirty percent of cases are related to travel.
Of those affected, 99% are male and 85% are from the LGBTQ community. To meet the eligibility qualifications for the monkeypox vaccine, you must be gay, bisexual, or transgender over the age of 18 and have had multiple or unknown sexual partners in the past 14 days. Those who are immunocompromised are also eligible to get the vaccine.
Monkeypox is considered extremely dangerous only with physical or intimate contact and low risk in cases of brief interactions, having a conversation, being passed on by someone, sharing a pool or other body of water, or traveling near someone who has monkeypox.
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