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COVID-19 Vaccination Site Opens At Magic Mountain

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COVID-19 Vaccination Site Magic Mountain

The COVID-19 vaccination site at Six Flags Magic Mountain has opened for healthcare and skilled nursing facility workers Tuesday, one of five large-scale sites across Los Angeles County.

Each site has the capability to vaccinate approximately 4,000 people per day, significantly increasing the number of frontline healthcare workers vaccinated, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The department aims to complete 500,000 additional vaccinations among healthcare workers by the end of January. All vaccinations are administered free of charge.

“Vaccination sites like this will allow L.A. County residents to get vaccinated at a large scale. We have never had anything like it on this magnitude,” said Marco Rodriguez, public information officer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

L.A. County Fire personnel are assisting public health officials in the organization and implementation of the large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site.

Merlin Williams, a healthcare worker from Santa Clarita, was one of the dozens of people waiting for their vaccination Tuesday morning.

“I am extremely grateful to be able to receive the vaccine,” Williams said. “Sites like this bring awareness to the community that this is vitally important.”

Devon Miller / The Valley Post

Only priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with additional guidance provided by the state, are receiving the vaccine; currently, only frontline healthcare workers, residents and staff in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other long-term care facilities are eligible for vaccination.

Eligible healthcare workers must have verification documents, which include a healthcare worker badge with a photo, or a professional license and a photo identification (ID), or a signed letter from an employer and a photo ID, or a payment stub from a healthcare provider with a name and a photo ID, according to public health.

Residents who are not in the eligible categories should not attempt to register for a vaccine appointment, at this time. Doing so will take an appointment slot away from the frontline healthcare workers.

“My thanks to Cal State Northridge for working with the County to make its campus available to administer urgently needed vaccines,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in a statement. “The CSUN site, along with other Mega Points of Distribution (MPOD) sites, will dramatically increase the number of County residents who can be vaccinated each day. This is a dynamic situation, so please continue to pay close attention to the news coming from the County about our vaccination plans, so you know how to get one as soon as you are eligible. Together, we can end this terrible pandemic which is robbing us of beloved parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors each day.”

The five established sites, which were chosen for their regional accessibility and their ability to handle large capacities of people, are:

  • Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA 91768
  • The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90305
  • California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330
  • L.A. County Office of Education, 12830 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355

“The County’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic rely on using all of the tools that we have available,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger in a statement. “As science and health experts continue to address this pandemic, these vaccines will help reduce the spread of the disease in Los Angeles County. These MPOD sites will help support the County’s efforts to protect our residents and restore the fabric of our communities.”

The large-scale vaccination sites are in addition to more than 75 vaccination locations that have been established to facilitate the administration of doses to individuals within Phase 1A, tiers 2 and 3. To date, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has opened more than 20 designated vaccination centers for frontline healthcare workers and has made arrangements with dozens of pharmacies to facilitate vaccinations for frontline healthcare workers within Phase 1A.

“As we continue to vaccinate our frontline healthcare workers, these vaccination sites will have the capability to increase the number we are vaccinating daily many times over,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health in a statement. “By vaccinating those at the highest risk as soon as possible, we have an opportunity to stabilize our healthcare system, prevent people from being hospitalized from COVID-19, and most importantly, save lives.”

For up-to-date information on L.A. County’s vaccine program, visit here.

Coronavirus

L.A. County Sees Increase In COVID-19 Cases Among Staff, Residents At Nursing Facilities

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COVID19 Vaccine Los Angeles County (1)

Los Angeles County is now experiencing an increase in cases among staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities, public health officials said Tuesday.

The rise is in part due to the highly transmissible Delta variant and a small number of post-vaccination infections among those fully vaccinated, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Currently, 86% of residents and 85% of staff at skilled nursing facilities are fully vaccinated. For the week ending July 18, 33 people tested positive for COVID-19: six new cases among residents, and 27 new cases among staff.

 For the previous weeks, an average of 22 new cases were reported among staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities.

Masks have consistently been required in all healthcare settings, including skilled nursing facilities, regardless of vaccination status. Routine testing of staff and residents is also required at skilled nursing facilities, and there are stringent infection control directives, according to the department.

On Tuesday, Public Health confirmed 2,293 new cases of COVID-19. To date, the department has identified 1,307,970 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,704 deaths.

There are 1,138 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 22% of these people are in the ICU. This is an increase of 313 daily hospitalizations since last Tuesday.

“Residents at skilled nursing facilities are often medically fragile and throughout this pandemic have been at great risk for serious illness and death from COVID-19. Thankfully, because of their high COVID-19 vaccination rates and infection control measures at facilities, we are not seeing dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases among staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities, nor have we seen significant increases in deaths,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in a statement. “In order to ensure a continued high level of protection during this surge, staff and residents not yet vaccinated should do so. And we ask everyone who plans to visit someone in a skilled nursing facility to mask up and be fully vaccinated to prevent transmission to very vulnerable residents.”

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. For more information, visit here

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California To Require State, Health Care Workers To Show Proof Of Vaccination Or Testing

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All California state employees, as well as workers in health care and high-risk congregate settings, must show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week, Governor Newsom announced Monday.

The new policy for state workers will take effect on Aug. 2 and testing will be phased in over the next few weeks. The new policy for health care workers and congregate facilities is set to take effect on Aug. 9, and health care facilities will have until Aug. 23 to come into full compliance. 

Unvaccinated workers will be subject to at least weekly COVID-19 testing and will be required to wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE). This requirement also applies to high-risk congregate settings, including senior residential facilities, homeless shelters and jails. 

“We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it’s going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous Delta variant,” said Newsom in a statement. “As the state’s largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same.”

Despite California leading the nation in vaccinations, with more than 44 million doses administered and 75% of the eligible population has received at least one dose, the state is seeing increasing numbers of people who refused to get the vaccine being admitted to the ICU and dying.

“The Delta variant is up to 60% more infectious than the Alpha strain but many times more infectious than the original COVID-19 strain. If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, now is the time,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement.

As of last week, California’s statewide case rate more than quadrupled from a low in May of 1.9 cases per 100,000 residents a day to at least 9.5 cases per 100,000.

The vast majority of new cases are among the unvaccinated, with 600% higher case rates among the unvaccinated than for those who are vaccinated, according to the state. 

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Los Angeles County COVID-19 Cases Increase 80% In One Week

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Los Angeles County continues to see a rapid rise in COVID-19 transmission countywide with cases doubling over the last 10 days as the Delta variant spreads.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 2,767 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday an 80% increase over last week, according to the department. 

On Friday, 3,058 additional cases were reported, marking the third day in a row with more than 2,500 cases reported in a day, according to Public Health.

The County’s daily average case rate, with a 7-day lag, is now 12.9 cases per 100,000 people, an increase from last week’s rate of 7.1 cases per 100,000.

There are 645 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 22% of these people are in the ICU. Last week, there were 406 people hospitalized with COVID-19 illness.

“Public Health has detailed the rise of the Delta variant among strains sequenced in the Los Angeles County area for weeks,” department officials said. “While emerging data affirms that fully vaccinated people are well protected from severe infections with Delta variants, people with only one vaccine are not as well-protected, and there is increasing evidence that a small number of fully vaccinated individuals can become infected and may be able to infect others.”

From July 11 to July 17, the number of sequenced Delta variants was 201, 84% of all sequences collected that week. 

This is consistent with the rise of Delta nationwide: earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that Delta strains accounted for 83% of circulating COVID-19. Given that about 4 million residents in L.A. County are not yet vaccinated, the risk of increased spread of this variant within L.A. County remains high, according to Public Health.

As of July 18, more than 10,845,531 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of these, 6,013,569 were first doses and 4,831,962 were second doses.

88% of L.A. County seniors 65 and over, 70% of residents 16 and over, and 69% of residents 12 and over have received one dose of a vaccine including 39% of L.A. County teens between the ages of 12 and 17. 

Of the nearly 10.3 million L.A. County residents, including those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, 52% are fully vaccinated and 59% have received at least one dose.

“As more people have gotten vaccinated, the proportion of total cases that are among those vaccinated has also increased,” public health officials said. “This is to be expected because as more people are vaccinated, the number of fully vaccinated people becoming infected will increase.”

 In June, fully vaccinated people represented 20% of all cases diagnosed among L.A. County residents, while unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people accounted for 80% of cases.

Public Health estimates if the 52% of County residents that are fully vaccinated were not vaccinated, the number of new cases would perhaps be double because everyone would instead have the same risk of infection as unvaccinated people do. While County numbers have been going up, they would be much higher if there weren’t as many people fully vaccinated.

In Los Angeles County, everyone 2 years of age and older must wear a mask in all indoor public places, regardless of their vaccination status. 

“While the County does not require masking at private gatherings where unvaccinated or immunocompromised people are present, universal masking in these scenarios, particularly indoors, is the best way to protect everyone,” department officials said.

To find a vaccination site in Los Angeles County, visit here.

Note: This story has been updated with new case data from the Department of Public Health.

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