COVID in LA: Escalating coronavirus cases push LA County into ‘medium risk’ category

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Rising COVID-19 cases have moved Los Angeles County into the federal government’s “medium risk” category.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s level of concern rose from “low” to “medium” on Thursday as LA County added an additional 4,700 new cases on top of rising hospitalizations and the positivity rate in rise over the past week.

The move from “low” to “medium” won’t trigger any immediate changes in county health regulations, but things like indoor masking are strongly recommended for residents and businesses.

Additionally, all signs point to a summer surge.

“We have now moved to the medium community level, which is concerning as this may signal that the increase we are seeing in our COVID cases may soon put a strain on our health resources,” the director of public health said. of LA County, Barbara Ferrer.

She said the county has the tools to flatten the curve, such as COVID testing capabilities, vaccines and masks.

READ ALSO | Public warned of use of unlicensed COVID-19 testing sites as cases rise sharply in LA County

“Anyone two years and older, including those who are vaxxed and boosted, should wear a mask when at indoor gatherings and indoor public places,” Ferrer said.

Meanwhile, kids ages 5-11 are now taking a step closer to extra protection.

After reviewing data from Pfizer — which shows the booster dose is safe for children — a CDC advisory committee voted to recommend the single booster dose, which should be given at least five months after the primary series.

A first analysis revealed that it increased antibodies against the omicron variant by 36 times.

“They are experts in vaccine advice, and I sincerely believe that no member of this committee would recommend this vaccine unless they were giving it to their own children,” said Stanford’s Dr Alok Patel. Children’s Health.

But some parents are still hesitant about boosters for kids.

“They released too much stuff too fast for me,” mother Charletta Sheard said.

The move comes as COVID infections among children are now at their highest level since February and hospital admissions have increased by 70% over the past month.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stressed the importance of anticipating the next wave.

“It’s important for us to anticipate the evolution of this pandemic and deploy the tools we have where they will have the greatest impact,” Walensky said.

Ferrer said reinfections were becoming quite common.

“If you were infected with omicron early on and have not yet been vaccinated or boosted, please do so as this will give you additional protection in the event of re-infection,” she said.

Walensky added that the highly transmissible omicron branch BA.2.12.1 now accounts for 27% of cases.

Also, once the CDC director officially authorizes boosters for children ages 5-11, we should expect them to be available shortly thereafter.

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