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Los Angeles County Qualifies For Least-Restrictive ‘Yellow’ Tier

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Los Angeles County Reopening

Los Angeles County is now eligible to advance to the least-restrictive “yellow” tier in the California Blueprint of a Safer Economy. 

On Tuesday, the state released updated COVID-19 metrics, with L.A. County meeting the criteria needed for the “yellow” tier for two weeks in a row. 

The county has a seven-day average test positivity rate of 0.7% and an average of 1.6 cases per 100,000 residents, according to state data. 

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said an updated health order is expected to be released on Wednesday, taking effect on Thursday. 

Under the “yellow” tier, most businesses are able to increase capacity, according to the state guidelines. 

Fitness centers, wineries, breweries and cardrooms can increase indoor capacity limits from 25% to 50%.

Outdoor sports and event venues would be able to double attendance increasing from 33% to 67%, according to the state. 

Bars would be allowed to resume indoor service at 25% capacity, according to Public Health.

“Moving into the yellow tier in Los Angeles County, which has a population of more than 10 million people, can bring increased risks to residents, especially those who have not yet been vaccinated,” Ferrer said in a statement. “This is the time for those 16 and older to get vaccinated so that as we once again go back to enjoying with our families and friends the many activities we love, we do so without fear.”

On Monday, Public Health reported no new deaths and 255 new cases of COVID-19. The number of cases and deaths is likely to reflect reporting delays over the weekend. To date, the department has reported 1,233,985 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,914 deaths.

There are 390 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. This is the first time hospitalizations dropped below 400 since the beginning of the pandemic.

COVID-19 testing results are available for nearly 6,520,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Monday’s daily test positivity rate is 0.7%.

Los Angeles County continues to experience relatively low and stable case numbers, daily hospitalizations and consistently low daily test positivity averages, according to Public Health. 

As of April 30, more than 8,000,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of these, 4,988,031 were first doses and 3,045,115 were second doses. 

Everyone 16 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated. For more information, visit here.

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Coronavirus

CDC: Fully Vaccinated People Can Go Without Masks Indoors, Outdoors

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CDC Mask Guidelines

People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, except under certain conditions, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing on Thursday anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

 “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” Walensky said. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Walensky cited three studies, one from the United States, showing the effectiveness of vaccines. 

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, residents must wait two weeks after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC.

Those who are immune-compromised are urged to speak with their doctors before not wearing a mask, according to Walensky.

A masking requirement is still in place for travel on buses, trains, planes and public transportation. Businesses and local governments are also able to require masks.

For unvaccinated people, Walensky said: “You remain at risk of mild or severe illness of death, or spreading the disease to others. You should still mask and you should get vaccinated right away.”

Last month, the agency relaxed masking guidelines for those fully protected outdoors. 

Testing and self-quarantining are also not required when traveling domestically for those who are fully vaccinated. 

In Los Angeles County, more than 8,492,810 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of these, 5,146,142 were first doses and 3,346,668 were second doses, according to the Department of Public Health.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination efforts in L.A. County, visit here.

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Los Angeles County To Offer Pfizer Vaccine For Children 12 To 15

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COVID19 Vaccine Los Angeles County (1)

Members of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) independent panel voted Wednesday to recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 12 to 15. 

The vote was 14-0, with one abstention, clearing the way for the expanded use of the vaccine following the approval from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

On Monday, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years of age. 

FDA officials amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) originally issued on Dec. 11, 2020, for administration in individuals 16 years of age and older, according to the agency. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is now expected to move forward with the use of the Pfizer vaccine for this new age group starting Thursday, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health.

Public Health estimates there are about 500,000 people in L.A. County ages 12 to 15 now eligible for a vaccine. 

Nearly 8.5 million doses of the three available vaccines have been administered in Los Angeles County, including 3.3 million second doses, according to the department. 

Children and adolescents generally have a milder COVID-19 disease course as compared to adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, the same dosage and dosing regimen for 16 years of age and older, according to researchers. 

“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock. “(Monday’s) action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”

The FDA has determined that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria to amend the EUA, and that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine in individuals 12 years of age and older outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in this population. 

For a full list of sites across L.A. County offering Pfizer vaccines, visit here

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Pfizer Vaccine Approved By FDA For Children Ages 12 To 15

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COVID19 Vaccine Los Angeles County 2 (1)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday to include children ages 12 through 15.

 The FDA amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) originally issued on Dec. 11, 2020, for administration in individuals 16 years of age and older, according to the agency. 

“The FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age is a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. in a statement. “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”

From March 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, about 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in individuals 11 to 17 years of age have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Children and adolescents generally have a milder COVID-19 disease course as compared to adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, the same dosage and dosing regimen for 16 years of age and older, according to researchers. 

“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” Woodcock said.

The FDA has determined that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria to amend the EUA, and that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine in individuals 12 years of age and older outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in this population. 

Nearly 8.5 million doses of the three available vaccines have been administered in Los Angeles County, including 3.3 million second doses, according to the Department of Public Health.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health, estimates there are about 500,000 people in the county ages 12 to 15.

No appointments are needed for both the Los Angeles County-run and City-run vaccination sites.

For more information, visit here.

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