In May, my note for this newsletter was about all we had accomplished in the battle against COVID-19 and how optimistic we and our community were with the economy preparing to reopen. Now, just a few weeks after that reopening, the virus has reminded us just how serious it is as we watch case numbers and hospitalizations rise.
When the economy reopened June 15, the Delta variant was beginning to spread in the U.S., and it is now the predominant strain of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County and we (vaccinated or not) are back to wearing face masks to try and slow the spread of this more contagious form of the virus. I want you to know that BCHD will continue to be a resource for the community as we battle this virus together.
Over the last few weeks, case rates and hospitalizations have risen swiftly among unvaccinated people. In June, 80% of all new cases were among those not vaccinated. While cases are also rising among vaccinated people, this increase is smaller and slower than it is in unvaccinated people. Between May 1 and July 17 of this year, our county had 3,167 hospitalized COVID-19 cases: 92% were among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals, and 8%, were among those fully vaccinated.
These trends confirm that the vaccines are working as intended: although vaccinated people are seeing a rise in new COVID-19 diagnoses, they are primarily experiencing their infections not as severe illnesses that bring them to the emergency room, but as bad colds.
Vaccines work. This is why we are hosting a back-to-school vaccine clinic for those age 12 and older, which you can learn more about later in this newsletter.
Community Health Survey
Also, farther down in this message, you’ll find information about our Community Health Survey. We are asking Beach Cities residents to take this survey to help us better understand local health needs. The results will be used when BCHD determines its health priorities, something we do every three years. The last day to complete the survey is Monday, August 30. I hope you’ll take 20 minutes to fill out the survey and give us a better understanding of our community’s health needs.
Healthy Living Campus
The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) consultant is sorting the comments received regarding the Draft EIR for the proposed Healthy Living Campus project and preparing responses. All public comments on the content of the Draft EIR that were received by the June 10 deadline will be included and responded to in the Final EIR.
The Final EIR will be made available to the public later this month and the BCHD Board will consider whether to certify it at a board meeting Wednesday, September 8 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (note: this may be a virtual meeting because of rising COVID-19 case rates). It is important to note that certifying the EIR is a determination that the report was properly completed, not the approval of a specific project plan or design.