Health officials urge people to keep getting vaccinated before Memorial Day weekend – NBC Los Angeles

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed seven new deaths and 220 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

To date, public health has identified 1,243,712 positive cases of COVID-19 in all areas of LA County and a total of 24,338 deaths.

Of the seven deaths reported on Saturday, three people who died were over 80, two were between 65 and 79, one was between 50 and 64 and one was between 30 and 49.

There are 273 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 18% of them are in intensive care.

Test results are available for more than 6,750,000 people, of which 17% of people tested positive. The positivity rate of the daily test is 0.3%.

Over the past month, Los Angeles County continues to see slight declines in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, but health officials have said it is critical that people continue to get vaccinated and maintain safety practices, especially during the holiday weekend.

Public health officials have said that if everyone at a Memorial Day gathering is fully vaccinated, people can gather indoors and outdoors without any masking or distancing requirements. But if guests from more than one household are not vaccinated, they should wear masks and keep away from others, preferably outdoors.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also noted that she and the ministry extend their deepest condolences to friends and families who mourn the loss of a loved one on Memorial Day.

“We are all happy that this Memorial Day is so different from the last Memorial Day – it is such a relief for many of us to be able to reunite with family and friends again,” she said. “If you are celebrating with an elderly person and they have not been vaccinated, celebrate safely outdoors with masks and from a distance or virtually. I encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to take the time to get vaccinated. The vaccine provides the best protection and keeps transmission low in Los Angeles County. “

Until Thursday, June 3, at all county-run vaccination sites, city sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, all people 18 years of age and older receive their first COVID vaccine. 19 or bring with them a vaccine for the first time. on their second date, will have the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to the 2021-2022 home season from the LA Kings or the LA Galaxy. Two residents will receive prizes.

Anyone 12 years of age and older can be vaccinated.

Continuing their efforts to reach vaccine-hesitant communities, Los Angeles County health officials announced a partnership with gang-based rehabilitation organization Homeboy Industries for a series of public service announcements encouraging vaccination against COVID-19.

“Equity remains at the heart of our vaccination efforts, which is why we are proud to partner with Homeboy Industries to ensure that residents affected by justice understand the importance of being vaccinated against COVID-19” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement. “Due to the previous negative interactions that some of our residents involved in justice may have had with the medical system or engaging with the government, campaign around the impact of COVID-19 on our community and overcome any hesitation is essential. ”

With Memorial Day weekend here and COVID-19 cases declining, many Southern Californians are shedding pandemic restrictions and hitting the road. Beverly White reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 28, 2021.

Homeboy Industries, run by Father Greg Boyle, has worked as a social reintegration program for former gang members and incarcerated people for over 30 years.

In a statement, Boyle said, “2020 has been tough. There was a lot of grieving that each of us went through, not just because of the loss of life, but the loss of the way things worked, so you had to lean into the grief and find your way. towards joy, Fortunately, vaccines are a gift, and they offer us the best protection against COVID-19. “

Boyle appears in one of the public service announcements, while others feature Homeboy Industries employees and those who have benefited from his services. The announcements focus on the importance of being vaccinated, overcoming reluctance to get vaccinated and the impact of the virus on the community.

The Latinx and Black communities have been the hardest hit since the start of the pandemic.

Although Latin American residents have suffered the bulk of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the county, figures released by the county this week showed that for the first time in the pandemic, black residents now have the highest rates of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Black and Latin communities also have the lowest vaccination rates in the county. With overall demand for vaccines declining in the county, health officials have stepped up efforts to integrate mobile vaccination programs into hard-hit communities, rather than waiting for residents to visit mass vaccination sites.

According to the county, Homeboy Industries has already been involved in this effort, helping facilitate more than 575 vaccinations to date. At an event last week, the distribution of vaccines was accompanied by food gifts and the distribution of diapers and sanitary wipes.

According to county figures released this week, as of May 15, black residents had a 14-day cumulative infection rate of 45 per 100,000, well above the 26 per 100,000 in Latino / a, 24 per cent. white residents and 11 for Asians.

Many people make their first trip in over a year to visit Los Angeles and the people who work there say they are ready to take it as well. Jonathan Gonzalez reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 28, 2021.

The higher case rate naturally translated into black residents, also paving the way for hospitalization rates and the 14-day cumulative death rate, at 1.06 per 100,000 – double the rate for Latinos and three times that of Asians and Whites.

“The shift in the highest proportion of case burden borne by black residents represents a big shift in who is disproportionately affected by this virus right now in LA County,” Ferrer said Thursday.

She directly pointed to the delay in vaccination rates in the black community as the reason for this sudden change. As of May 23, only 40% of black residents aged 16 and over in Los Angeles County had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This compares to 48% of Latinx residents, 62% of White residents, and 71% of Asian residents.

“If we can’t close the vaccination gap fast enough, I think we’ll once again see this tragedy around the disproportionality in who has the most devastating health outcomes associated with this virus,” Ferrer said.

“… In order to close that gap now in case rates, we’re going to have to do a better job of immunizing.” This is the first time that African American residents, black residents of LA County are now experiencing the most cases, the highest adjusted hospitalization rates, and, sadly, the highest death rate.

As of Friday, a total of 9,564,035 doses of the vaccine were administered in the county, including more than 5.5 million first doses and more than 4 million second doses. Among county residents aged 16 and older, 63% have received at least one dose and 51% are fully immunized. Among those 65 and over, 85% have received at least one dose and 72% are fully immunized.

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