Photo by Ande Richards.

At Current Pace, L.A. County Vaccinations Will Take Until 2022

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Friday, January 22, 2021

UC Irvine scientists are working on a vaccine that would be effective against all strains of COVID-19, as well as a way to deliver doses through a dermal patch.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 9,277 new cases of COVID-19 and 262 new deaths Friday. This brings the total of confirmed cases in the county to 1,054,802 and the number of deaths to 14,894. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

L.A. County residents likely won’t be fully inoculated against COVID-19 until next year unless more doses become available, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced this week. According to Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, if weekly shipments of the vaccine increase to 500,000 doses, the county could vaccinate 75% of adults by midsummer. — Los Angeles Times

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are starting to level off, according to county health officials, citing a drop in L.A. County’s test positivity rate — down to 12.7% from 20.8% on Jan. 1. But they warn there’s still a long way to go in controlling the virus’s transmission and subsequent hospitalizations. “While we have come a long way this week with community transmission, we have a long road to go and must continue to practice infectious control measures: wear a face covering and maintain physical distance when out of your home,” officials said in a press release. — ABC Los Angeles

Medical workers throughout Southern California report experiencing burnout and exhaustion as they face an overload of patients, a rising number of deaths and broken equipment. “I hold every patient that I lost … I hold them in my heart,” said Michele Younkin, a nurse from St. Jude Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit in Fullerton. “I can picture every single one, and I will probably never forget them.” — Daily Breeze

Scientists at UC Irvine are working on a vaccine aimed at eradicating all strains of COVID-19. The team is also investigating the potential of delivering doses through patch technology — similar to the way a nicotine patch works for smokers trying to quit — possibly easing the challenges facing the distribution of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines worldwide. — NBC Los Angeles

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients’ Odds of Dying Doubled in L.A. County

California may not be done vaccinating residents 65 and older until June, closing off access to the vaccine for other groups.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 8,512 new cases of COVID-19 and 262 deaths. Public Health officials have recorded 1,046,021 cases of COVID-19 and 14,641 deaths. There are 7,263 people currently hospitalized with the virus, with 23% in the intensive care unit. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

L.A. County health officials say the chances that Angelenos hospitalized with COVID-19 will die have more than doubled since last fall. According to a report from the county Department of Health Services, the odds that someone will die from COVID-19 while hospitalized increased from about 1 in 8 in September and October to approximately 1 in 4 since November. — Patch

It could take the state until June to vaccinate Californians 65 and over, according to state Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan, closing off vaccine access for people not on the priority list for at least four months. In addition to those 65 and older, health care workers, as well as nursing home employees and residents, have priority access to the vaccine. — Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo had 100 signs placed in high-risk areas of his district — Westlake, Pico-Union, Highland Park, Koreatown and Lincoln Heights — reminding residents to wear masks, remain socially distant, self-quarantine when necessary and get tested and vaccinated for COVID-19 when eligible. “It is critical to make people aware of the dangers that still exist during the pandemic,” Cedillo said. “There’s no value in soft-selling the conditions. Particularly in parts of my district with challenges of poverty, immigration status and density.” — NBC Los Angeles

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

California Courts Brace for Eviction Surge

COVID-19 outbreaks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have prompted industry leaders to campaign for dockworker vaccinations.

Los Angeles County health officials reported 6,492 new cases of COVID-19 and 262 deaths today. To date, there have been 1,038,092 infections reported and 14,384 deaths. There are currently 7,253 people hospitalized for the virus in the county. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

California court officials estimate landlords will file 240,000 new eviction cases over the next year as the state’s pandemic-related renter protections expire in late January. Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked the Legislature to increase funding for the judicial system so courts can prepare for a surge in evictions. — Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles is expanding its COVID-19 care kit program, starting with multi-generational households in South L.A. and the Eastside of Los Angeles. The L.A. Fire Department will distribute the kits, which include masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and public health information. — Patch

Executives, union leaders and elected officials say it’s imperative to begin vaccinating dockworkers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as nearly 700 of them have contracted COVID-19, spurring fears of a labor shortage that could lead to terminal closures. — Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

L.A. County Opens Access to COVID-19 Vaccine to Residents 65 and Over

Limits on the number of cremations allowed each month have been lifted as more than 2,700 bodies lie stored at hospitals and the coroner’s office.

L.A. County health officials reported 7,902 new cases of COVID-19 and 186 additional deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,031,874 cases and 14,122 deaths. These numbers reflect a reporting lag over the weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. — CBS Los Angeles

Another five COVID-19 vaccination sites have opened in L.A. County, capable of distributing 4,000 doses each day once fully operational. The new sites are located at the Fairplex in Pomona, the Forum in Inglewood, CSU Northridge, the L.A. County Office of Education in Downey and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. — ABC Los Angeles

As the coronavirus’s death toll rises, environmental regulators in L.A. County have eased restrictions on the number of cremation performed each month at the request of county health officials. — NPR

A variant of COVID-19 first identified in Denmark and present in California as early as May could be less susceptible to the currently approved vaccines, according to Dr. Charles Chiu, a virologist and professor of laboratory medicine at UC San Francisco. “This variant carries three mutations, including L452R, in the spike protein, which the virus uses to attach to and enter cells, and is the target of the two vaccines that are currently available in the United States,” Chiu said. — Deadline

Starting today, L.A. County residents who are 65 and older will be able to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine. The rollout for this group is scheduled to start tomorrow, though reports of the signup website crashing plague the process. Reservations can be made by visiting or by calling the new COVID information hotline at (833) 540-0473, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. — Los Angeles Daily News, LAist

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