In the last week of 2022, Los Angeles County remained in the medium community level of COVID-19 transmission. In order to avoid a rise in cases similar to what was experienced after Thanksgiving, Department of Public Health Officials are recommending Angelenos take three simple precautions: Test before gathering, mask while indoors or in very crowded outdoor spaces and stay home when sick.
Testing is especially important for people who have recently traveled or attended gatherings. Some people with COVID-19 may be pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic and unaware of their infection status.
Tests are readily available over the counter and insurance companies are required to reimburse the cost of eight tests per month per member. Each household may also receive four free tests shipped to their home by visiting COVIDtests.gov.
Masking is another strong tool to help prevent transmission and a post-holiday COVID-19 surge.
Residents should also stay home when sick. Even if they test negative for COVID-19, other respiratory illnesses are circulating at high levels this winter, including flu and respiratory syncytial virus, and both viruses can cause serious illness, hospitalizations and death.
Mortality remains very high for COVID-19 in L.A. County, especially when compared to other respiratory viruses. Since October 2022, 746 county residents died of COVID-related illness. By comparison, over this same time period, there were 43 known flu-related deaths in the county, though CDC modeling data estimates the true number was closer to 360 people.
L.A. County residents are additionally urged to wash their hands frequently, get the new bivalent booster and take oral antiviral medications within five days of the onset of symptoms like fever, coughing, sneezing, unusual fatigue or muscle aches.
As of Dec. 30, the 7-day average case count in the county was 2,359, a 9% decrease from one week before when the 7-day average of 2,595 cases was reported.
On Dec. 30, the county was reporting an average of 16 deaths per day, a welcome decrease from the average of 22 deaths reported per day a week before.
For information, visit ph.lacounty.gov
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