HEALTH UPDATE: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
REVISED August 5, 2022
On March 16, 2020, BCHD activated its Emergency Operations Plan and opened the District Operations Center (DOC) in response to COVID-19. View the DOC Dashboard for BCHD program and service numbers.
Los Angeles County Remains in High Community Level (As of August 5, 2022)
Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 cases continue their recent decline, while hospitalization and hospital admissions appear to have plateaued. Los Angeles County remains at the high community level on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 framework this week, but the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is monitoring metrics that may move the County to the medium community level.
Los Angeles County’s 7-day case rate, which while still appreciably elevated at 376 cases per week per 100,000 people, represents a considerable decline from the case rate of 426 a week ago.
According to the Los Angeles County hospital metrics data CDC reported out on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the County’s hospital admission rate declined enough to move the County back down into the medium community level. However, the preliminary data that CDC posted yesterday, calculated the hospital admission rate at 10.1 keeping the County in the high community level. Additionally, the 7-day average for the proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is 7.0%, a small decline from the 7.2% CDC reported last Wednesday.
Given declining cases and continued efforts to slow the spread, it is possible for the County to quickly move and remain in the medium community level in the weeks ahead. This is especially important with schools opening soon across the County.
Los Angeles County Vaccination Sites to Start Administering Novavax Vaccine Beginning Wednesday, August 3
Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Novavax vaccine was developed without the use of mRNA technology. The vaccine was found to be 90% effective against mild, moderate and severe disease in the company’s Phase 3 clinical trial involving 30,000 participants ages 18 and older. Residents 18 years and older can get the Novavax vaccine, which is a two-dose primary series, with the second dose administered three weeks after the first. Boosters are currently not recommended and the Novavax vaccine is not yet authorized for children 17 and younger. Residents can walk into any Los Angeles County Department of Public Health vaccination location to receive the vaccine and contact their provider to see if their provider is offering Novavax.
As CDC Community Level Data Improves, Indoor Masking Strongly Advised to Protect Most Vulnerable Residents
Using the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels framework, Los Angeles County remains at the high community level this week (as of July 29, 2022). However, there are indications that Los Angeles County may very soon be moving to the medium community level. Given the latest trends in cases and hospitalizations, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is not instituting universal indoor masking at this time.
Los Angeles County’s 7-day case rate, while still elevated at 426 weekly cases per 100,000 people, declined from 481 weekly cases per 100,000 people last week. Using the most recent hospitalization data, Los Angeles County is experiencing a rate of 9.7 new hospitalizations, which suggests that by next Thursday, assuming rates stay stable or decline, CDC will designate Los Angeles County at the medium community level.
Although Public Health did not issue a new health officer order to require universal indoor masking because of the improvements in our hospital metrics, given the continued high rate of transmission, wearing masks indoors in public spaces, will reduce risk and limit spread.
As a reminder, masking is still required in many settings throughout the County under the existing state and Los Angeles County Health Officer orders. Masks are required in all health care settings, on public transportation, such as buses and trains, and transit hubs, as well as at long-term care settings, shelters, cooling centers, and correctional facilities. Masks are required for 10 days for anyone recently diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19, when they are around other people.
And while Los Angeles County still is in this surge, indoor masking is very strongly advised everywhere else: in shared office spaces, in other work settings like manufacturing, in retail settings (whether you work there or are shopping), indoors at schools, and when you are in any indoor space, unless you are actively eating or drinking. As a reminder, businesses and institutions are permitted to require indoor masking while people are on their premises, and this remains a sensible action to take during times of high transmission.
CDC Recommends Novavax’s COVID-19 Vaccine for Adults
Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine can be used as another primary series option for adults ages 18 years and older. Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, which will be available in the coming weeks, consists of 2 doses in the primary series, given 3–8 weeks apart. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should also receive 2 doses, given 3 weeks apart (a 3rd primary dose is not currently authorized). Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is not authorized for use as a booster dose.
The Novavax vaccine was developed using protein-based technology instead of mRNA technology. Protein subunit vaccines package harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus alongside another ingredient called an adjuvant that helps the immune system respond to the virus in the future. Vaccines using protein subunits have been used for more than 30 years in the United States, beginning with the first licensed hepatitis B vaccine. Other protein subunit vaccines used in the United States today include those to protect against influenza and whooping cough (acellular pertussis).
For more information on the Novavax vaccine, click here.
For more information on COVID-19, visit:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
California COVID-19 Response - covid19.ca.gov
California Department of Public Health
Los Angeles County COVID-19 Response - covid19.lacounty.gov
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
World Health Organization