LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Friday reported 9,277 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 256 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,054,802 cases and 14,894 deaths.
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Of the new deaths reported, 82 people were over the age of 80, 85 people were between the ages of 65 and 79, 52 people were between the ages of 50 and 64, 15 people were between the ages of 30 and 49 and one person was between the ages of 18 and 29.
But health officials reported some good news Friday, stating that there had been a 30% decrease in the seven-day average of daily cases from last week and the test positivity rate had dropped to 12.7% from 20.8% on Jan. 1.
While the current test positivity rate is still way above the 3.8% reported Nov. 1 before the latest surge began, officials said it was trending in the right direction.
“It is clear that careful actions many have been taking this month are making a difference,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “It is also apparent that the road ahead remains difficult.”
Also trending downward were hospitalizations, with 7,073 COVID-19 patients hospitalized Friday — 24% of whom were being treated in intensive care units. Since last Friday, the daily number of people hospitalized has decreased by 642 patients — an 8% drop.
Health officials also reported that more than 441,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including more than 352,000 first doses and 88,000 second doses. And though the supply remains limited — with only enough to vaccinate one in four people who are eligible — clinic sites appeared to be running much more smoothly.
At Crenshaw Christian Center in South L.A., one of several city-run sites, those with appointments were able to walk in, get vaccinated and leave with little waiting.READ MORE: LA's Small Businesses Can Apply For $5,000 Comeback Checks Grant Program Starting Today
“I just wanted to make sure that she’s healthy,” Nancy Dorani, who brought her elderly mother to the site, said. “People, they want to come and see her, so we just did it and it was very organized.”
But officials reminded residents that the pace of vaccinations was entirely dependent on how many doses they receive in the coming weeks.
“If the flow of doses into the county remains at the current level of approximately 150,000 doses per week, the vaccination effort will likely extend well into 2022,” Dr. Paul Simon, county public health chief science officer, said.
If, however, the county were to start receiving 500,000 doses each week, Simon said 75% of the adult population could be reached by mid-summer, though the two-dose nature of the currently authorized vaccines adds another complication to the situation.
“Over at least the next week, and possibly longer, we will also be greatly challenged because a significant portion of our weekly shipments will need to be used for second doses, which will leave a smaller percentage for first doses,” he said.
And while health officials continued to monitor a number of mutations, including one first detected in the United Kingdom and another first detected in Denmark, they’re hopeful that the new administration will be able to speed up vaccine production and shipment.
“We are also hopeful that several other vaccine manufacturers will receive federal authorization for emergency use of their vaccines in the coming months,” Simon said.MORE NEWS: Authorities Investigating Murder On Alix Avenue In Unincorporated LA
With testing results available for more than 5,326,000 individuals, the county’s overall positivity rate was 19%.