Los Angeles County reported 408 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths today, though health officials said the relatively low numbers may reflect delays in weekend reporting.
The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals dropped from 444 Saturday to 407, according to state figures, while the number of those patients in intensive care rose from 101 to 103.
Sunday’s numbers brought the county’s totals to 1,231,532 cases and 23,773 fatalities since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
“This virus has caused havoc and pain in our county for too long. However, we now have a way forward to end the pandemic,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Saturday. “It is more important than ever for everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated to look over the information about vaccine safety and make an appointment as soon as you can. When you do, you’ll be protecting yourselves and just as importantly, you’ll be keeping yourselves healthy so you can continue to support those you love.”
The department reminded the public this weekend that anyone 16 and older living or working in Los Angeles County can get vaccinated without booking an appointment at all county-run vaccination sites while supply lasts. Teens 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Registration for COVID-19 appointments will be completed on-site.
That’s a stark change from the early days of the vaccination effort, when appointments were in short supply.
Also, county officials said they will resume administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, with required warning materials about rare instances of blood clots.
The county’s chief science officer, Dr. Paul Simon, told reporters in an online briefing Friday that the county has about 13,000 doses of the J&J vaccine on hand, while another 25,000 doses may be in the possession of other providers such as pharmacies and health centers that receive allocations of vaccine directly from the state or federal governments.