Out of concern for the Omicron variant and its potential impact, Los Angeles County has modified its public health order, requiring all residents, staff and contractors at skilled nursing facilities to undergo COVID testing at least once a week, regardless of vaccination status. All visitors to skilled nursing facilities will have to provide proof of either a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the visit, or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of the visit. Antigen tests will be made available for visitors at the nursing facilities.
People who have proof of a documented recovery from a COVID infection within 90 days will be exempted from the weekly testing requirement or the negative-test requirement for visiting a nursing facility.
The temporary order will be in effect beginning Dec. 15 and continuing through Jan. 31.
Los Angeles County has begun seeing a slight rise in daily COVID-19 infections numbers in recent days, possibly a reflection of Thanksgiving holiday gatherings. Hospitalizations due to the virus have also climbed upward, again topping 600 on Monday. According to state figures, there were 629 COVID-19-positive people in Los Angeles County hospitals as of Monday, up from 595 on Sunday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 151, up from 146 a day earlier.
The county on Monday reported 1,103 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths associated with the virus — low numbers that likely reflect weekend reporting delays. The county has logged 1,537,450 cases and 27,248 fatalities since the pandemic began. The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.2% as of Monday.
So far, 83% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 74% are fully vaccinated. Of all eligible residents aged 5 and over, 76% have received at least one dose, and 68% are fully vaccinated. Black residents continue to have the lowest rate of vaccinated, with just 55% having received at least one dose. The rate is 60% among Latino/a residents, 73% among white residents and 82% among Asians.
According to the latest county figures, of the more than 6.1 million fully vaccinated people in the county, 80,445 have tested positive, or about 1.32%. A total of 2,680 vaccinated people have been hospitalized, for a rate of 0.044%, and 503 have died, for a rate of 0.008%.