LA County urges public to avoid high-risk Halloween activities – NBC Los Angeles

The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals fell from 20 on Sunday to 638, a day after increasing by 20 people.

The number of those intensive care patients rose from 182 to 184, according to state figures.

The number of COVID patients in the county has fluctuated in recent days after weeks of steady decline, rising for three consecutive days, then declining for two consecutive days before Saturday’s increase.

Local health officials on Sunday reported 898 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 1,477,686 cases and 26,414 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases and deaths announced on Sunday likely reflects the reporting delays over the weekend.

The highly transmissible Delta variant continues to account for 100% of the strains of COVID-19 seen among samples sequenced in the region, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said on Saturday.

In 2020, the health authority declared no parties, no trick-or-treat. But what about now?

Health officials are urging residents to plan a safe Halloween. Officials reminded people that closed spaces with poor air circulation, crowded places with many people nearby, and places of close contact where people talk, laugh, shout or breathe heavily against each other are the most dangerous environments for contracting the virus and should be avoided at all. costs.

“The safest activities will be those that are outdoors, including outdoor costume parties, pumpkin patch tours, outdoor ghost tours, cart rides and treats – when they are. performed safely, ”the department said. “Whenever possible, aim to be outdoors, especially if you are with people, including children, who have not yet been vaccinated; masks covering your nose and mouth should be worn when crowded or in close contact with other people outside your household.

More information for residents, businesses and event planners to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the holidays is available on the LA County Department of Public Health website.

Meanwhile, county health officials are preparing to offer more COVID-19 vaccine boosters as federal approval draws closer for additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory group on Friday recommended booster doses of the J&J vaccine for adults, given at least two months after receiving the initial vaccine. Thursday’s panel recommended boosters of the Moderna vaccine, given at least six months after a person received the second of the two-dose regimen.

Public Health Department officials have insisted the county is well equipped to begin administering booster doses once they receive final federal approval, although they have continued to stress the need. for unvaccinated people to come in for their first dose.

“We can expect all COVID-19 vaccines available in the country to have a booster option in the near future,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Friday. “In the near future, we expect millions more LA County residents to qualify for a recall. For those who are older, have underlying health issues or are at high risk of exposure. in a workplace, please plan to get your booster once you are eligible This will allow your immune system to respond more effectively to the virus.
in colder weather and during the holidays, getting a first, second or third dose of a COVID vaccine should be high on our to-do list. “

Ferrer continued Thursday to bemoan the slow pace of vaccinations, saying only 41,000 first doses were given across the county in the week that ended Sunday. She said that “the only thing we need to do as a community to reduce our risk of another wave is to reduce the number of unvaccinated people.”

According to Ferrer, 79% of eligible county residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 70% are fully immunized. Of the 10.3 million people, including those who are not eligible for injections, 68% have received at least one dose and 60% are fully immunized.

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