COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket as Omicron Dominates

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

County data appears to show that more Burbank residents are testing positive for the coronavirus, on average, than during any previous surge.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported that more than 370 Burbank residents tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, by far the most the city had ever seen in one day. The seven-day average for cases was also record high of about 243 per day on Wednesday, the county’s most recent reporting day as of the Leader’s press deadline. Officials recorded similarly record-breaking numbers for L.A. County as a whole.
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County Modifies COVID Protocols for Schools Amid Surge

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revised its health order for schools last weekend in an effort to combat a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across Southern California since Christmas.
All school employees are now required to wear medical grade masks — such as surgical or KN95 masks — while working and the county suggests that students also wear them. Students and staff also must wear their masks outdoors in crowded outdoor settings on campus, except when they’re eating, “where [social] distancing cannot be easily or reliably maintained.”
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County Issues Stricter COVID Rules for Schools

First published in the Jan. 6 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revised its health order for schools last weekend in an effort to combat a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across Southern California since Christmas.
All school employees are now required to wear medical grade masks — such as surgical or KN95 masks — while working and the county suggests that students also wear them.
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Glendale’s Vaccination Rate Climbs To 49%

Nearly half of Glendale’s residents ages 16 and older had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of this past Sunday, according to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
As of May 2, there were 87,516 residents in Glendale who had received at least one dose of a vaccination, representing 49% of the eligible population. This includes 24,718 residents age 65 or older, representing 66% of that population within Glendale. Meanwhile, in unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, 10,942 residents had gotten one vaccination dose as of Sunday, representing 64% of its population; of the 65-and-older group, 2,696 — 86% of that population — had received at least one shot.
As of the News-Press’ publication deadline this week, L.A. County has administered more than 8 million doses of the vaccine and 39% of its residents are fully inoculated.
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Burbank Residents Reach 31% Vaccination Rate

Burbank residents will soon see more of the normality they were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.
The L.A. Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday that the county has met the threshold for the orange tier — indicating moderate infection of the coronavirus — of the state’s blueprint for a safer economy. The next-to-lowest tier loosens restrictions on businesses and allows theme parks to open. The new health order will go into effect this coming Monday, April 5.
“After a year of fear, anxiety and tragic loss, we’re seeing glimmers of hope once more,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a virtual update on Tuesday. “But this didn’t happen just by accident. This was because of our collective hard work.”

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City’s Vaccine Rate Reaches 28.5%; Officials Urge Vigilance

Photo courtesy Glendale Fire Department
A Glendale Fire Department official vaccinates a local resident during its newly implemented mobile vaccine program, in which it is partnering with Glendale Memorial Hospital.

Glendale residents will soon see more of the normality they were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.
The L.A. Department of Public Health announced this week that the county has met the threshold for the orange tier — indicating moderate infection of the coronavirus — of the state’s blueprint for a safer economy. The next-to-lowest tier loosens restrictions on businesses and allows theme parks to reopen. The new health order will go into effect this coming Monday, April 5.
“After a year of fear, anxiety and tragic loss, we’re seeing glimmers of hope once more,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a virtual update on Tuesday. “But this didn’t happen just by accident. This was because of our collective hard work.”

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Falling COVID Cases, Reopenings Celebrated as Milestones

Life in Los Angeles County during the pandemic is quickly changing after COVID-19 cases plunged since the winter surge amid ramped up efforts to vaccinate residents.
State and county officials recently eased restrictions for schools to offer in-person instruction for their youngest learners, and more reopenings are expected across Los Angeles County as early as next week. Moving into the red tier would also permit schools to reopen for in-person instruction for students in grades 7-12.

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Schools, Officials Celebrate Reopening Milestones

Photo by Charles Hirsch / Burbank Leader
Los Angeles County is expected to move out of the most restrictive tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy as early as Monday. The move would allow movie theaters to reopen at limited capacity and schools to expand in-person instruction to students in grades 7-12.

Life in Los Angeles County during the pandemic is quickly changing after COVID-19 cases plunged since the winter surge amid ramped up efforts to vaccinate residents.
State and county officials recently eased restrictions for schools to offer in-person instruction for their youngest learners, and more reopenings are expected across Los Angeles County as early as next week. Moving into the red tier would also permit schools to reopen for in-person instruction for students in grades 7-12.
The L.A. Department of Public Health anticipates moving out of the purple tier — indicating widespread infection — and into the less restrictive red tier as soon as Monday, March 15, in accordance with the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The new health order that would allow more businesses to reopen will be implemented since the state reached its goal of administering two million doses of the vaccine to its most underprivileged communities on Friday.
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Inoculation Distribution Inequities Show in County Data

Los Angeles County has administered nearly 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, making the light at the end of the tunnel shine a little brighter for an area that has been the epicenter of the pandemic.
However, vaccine distribution data from the L.A. County Department of Public Health shows that affluent neighborhoods have a greater percentage of residents vaccinated than low-income areas that many Black and Latino residents call home.
“The findings are deeply concerning and provide further illustration of the deeply rooted health inequities that exist in our society,” Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the L.A DPH, said last Friday. “The findings clearly indicate very significant inequities in the distribution of vaccines to date. These inequities are unjust and unacceptable and demand renewed efforts to address them.”

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County Continues to Set Records for COVID-19 Cases

With Los Angeles County reporting record highs for daily new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, public health officials continue to urge residents to remain indoors as much as possible to combat the recent surge.
“Unfortunately, where we are and where we are headed is alarming,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said on Wednesday, adding that the positivity rate now stands at 12.5%. That figure was 3.5% in early November.
The county broke its record for daily new cases five times last week and has averaged nearly 8,700 the past three days, including 9,243 new cases on Wednesday. There had been 305 cases reported so far in La Cañada Flintridge as of Wednesday. The Department of Public Health reported 267 cases the previous week.

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