HEALTH UPDATE: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
REVISED June 24, 2022
Los Angeles County Remains at Medium Community Level
Los Angeles County remains at the medium community level on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Level framework as of June 24, 2022. The CDC Community Level framework contains three elements: the weekly cumulative case rate per 100,000 people, and two hospital metrics, the seven-day cumulative rate of COVID-19 hospital admissions, and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.
This medium level is based on a very high case rate of 307 cases per 100,000 residents, well above the CDC’s 200 cases per 100,000 threshold for the low community level.
The county’s hospital admission rate is at 7.3 per 100,000 people, unchanged from last week. The percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is at 3.6%, slightly up from 3.5% last week. If the county reaches 10 for either of these two metrics, it will move into the “high” community level.
If the county continues its current rate of increase over the coming weeks, it may reach the COVID-19 hospital admission rate of 10 per 100,000 people threshold in mid-July, which is the high community level. However, the future hospitalization trend cannot be predicted with certainty. Hospitalizations could level off and begin to decline—this would be a great relief, or they could again begin to increase more rapidly. The data will need to be monitored closely.
If the county does move into the high level and remain there for two consecutive weeks, Public Health will implement a universal indoor masking requirement for everyone age 2 and older in Los Angeles County as a safety measure recommended by the CDC. If it were to be implemented, it would remain in effect until the county returns to the medium level for two consecutive weeks.
CDC Recommends Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for Children and Adolescents
On June 24, 2022, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine be used as an option for children ages 6 through 17 years, in addition to its already recommended use in children 6 months through 5 years and adults 18 years and older. This recommendation reinforces the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine as an important tool in the pandemic and provides another vaccine option for children and adolescents. The ACIP recommendation comes after a thorough review of the scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy, and supports the use of the vaccine among those 6 through 17 years of age.
On March 16, 2020, BCHD activated its Emergency Operations Plan and opened the District Operations Center (DOC) in response to COVID-19. View the DOC Dashboard for BCHD program and service numbers.
Update on the Omicron Variant in Los Angeles County (as of June 21, 2022):
Although cases appear to stabilize, COVID-19 transmission in Los Angeles County remains high due to highly infectious Omicron variant sublineages. With high transmission, Public Health continues to encourage caution and the layering of protections, such as masking, testing and staying away from others if you are sick. These safety measures remain essential to slowing the spread.
The Omicron variant continued to account for all positive cases for sequenced specimens collected through the week ending May 28, as 90% of specimens testing positive were the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, and its sublineages. The original BA.2 subvariant, and the BA.2.3 sublineage, continued to decrease. The BA.2.12.1 sublineage remains, by far, the predominant sublineage of BA.2, accounting for over 58% of positive sequenced specimens for the week ending May 28.
While the highly infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron continue to remain at low levels in Los Angeles County, increased numbers of new cases are detected every week. To date, Public Health has detected a total of 98 positive, sequenced specimens of these two subvariants - 57 of BA.4 and 41 of BA.5. For the week ending May 28, these two subvariants combined accounted for 7.5% of positive specimens, with BA.4 accounting for 3.5%, and BA.5 accounting for 4%.
The CDC estimates that across the country, as of the week of June 11, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron combined accounted for just under 22% of specimens, a large increase from 1% a month ago. They appear increasingly able to outcompete the BA.2 subvariant and its sublineages.
Expanded COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility for Young Children
On June 18, 2022, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and means that all Americans ages 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination.
Parents and caregivers can now get their children 6 months through 5 years of age vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to better protect them from COVID-19. All children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated.
For more information on the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for children and teens, click here.
CDC Strengthens Recomendations and Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots
CDC has expanded eligibility of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to everyone 5 years of age and older, recommending that children ages 5 through 11 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. CDC has also strengthened its recommendation that those 12 and older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least 4 months after their first. Learn more here.
For more information on COVID-19, visit:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
California COVID-19 Response - covid19.ca.gov
California Department of Public Health
Los Angeles County COVID-19 Response - covid19.lacounty.gov
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
World Health Organization