42 New Deaths, 793 New Confirmed Cases – Deadline

On Saturday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released new data, confirming 42 new deaths from Covid-19 and 793 new cases. The department also said that daily hospitalizations due to the virus have dropped under 1,000 in L.A. County for the first time since November 23.

The new numbers reported bring L.A. County to a total of 22,446 deaths, and 1,209,632 identified cases.

At time of reporting, 979 individuals are hospitalized with Covid-19, 29% of whom are in the ICU. Test results have been made available to nearly 5,946,000 people, with 19% testing positive. Saturday’s test positivity rate, in particular, came in at 1.8%. While the number of hospitalizations due to the virus continues to decline, it is still considered high.

14 of today’s new deaths were of individuals above the age of 80. 12 individuals lost to the virus fell between the ages of 65 and 79. 10 were between 50 and 64 years of age, with three people between the ages of 30 and 49 also passing. Of the deaths reported, five came from the City of Long Beach.

Today’s news comes on the heels of a major announcement yesterday, which saw Los Angeles County join 12 others in shifting down into the red reopening tier, closely aligned with a framework announced by the state. This shift came, in accordance with the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, after 2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered to some of its hardest-hit communities.

As a result of this transition into the red tier, movie theaters, museum, zoos, aquariums and indoor dining will be allowed to reopen in L.A. County at 25% capacity, beginning Monday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m. Gyms, fitness centers, yoga and dance studios can open indoors at 10% capacity, with a masking requirement for all indoor activities, while retail and personal care services will be allowed to increase capacity to 50%, provided that the same safety conditions are upheld. Indoor shopping malls will also be able to increase capacity to 50%, though common areas will remain closed. At the same time, school and Institutes of Higher Education will be able to re-open for in-person activities, with required safety modifications.

With L.A. County in the red tier, private gatherings involving up to three separate households are permitted indoors, if masking and social distancing is in place. Meanwhile, fully-vaccinated individuals can gather in small groups with others who have received both vaccines, without the need for masking or distancing.

In Public Health’s latest report, Director Barbara Ferrer noted that we, as a county, “have made good progress and have more progress to make.

“We urge everyone to use caution and good judgment in these next critical weeks and months to avoid surges in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths like we saw at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Don’t let your guard down. Continue following all safety measures,” she added. “Stay masked, maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others, and keep in mind outdoor activities are far safer than indoor ones.”

Source: Deadline

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