COVID-19 continues to circulate among the homeless population, Los Angeles County health officials said on Wednesday (Nov. 10), noting that five homeless people have died from the virus in the past week while claiming that preparations are underway for the anticipated winter increase in shelter populations. .
The county public health department has confirmed 101 new cases of COVID-19 among the homeless over the past week, although the majority of them have indeed occurred before but have only recently been verified. .
Since the start of the pandemic, 9,626 homeless people have tested positive for the virus in the county and 255 have died, the county said.
Public health officials said they are working with managers of homeless shelters to ensure infection control measures are in place, while encouraging shelter staff and residents to get vaccinated. . The county noted that winter shelters in the area will operate around the clock, which will likely lead to more overcrowding at these facilities.
“As the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to circulate in communities, including among people who are homeless, we continue to work with shelters and transitional housing to prepare for an increased need for services,” the said. county public health director Barbara Ferrer in a statement. “Sites providing support to people who are homeless are reviewing infection control protocols, ensuring isolation and quarantine capacity, and stepping up efforts to vaccinate staff and guests, many of whom are eligible for boosters. “
The county reported 34 more deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, although 18 of those deaths have indeed occurred before but were not immediately counted due to a backlog attributed to a technical issue that caused under- count Tuesday. The new deaths brought the county’s total death toll to 26,796.
As of Wednesday, 1,497 more cases of COVID were reported, giving the county a cumulative total of 1,506,305 pandemics.
The mobile average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.2% on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, according to the state, there were 617 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals, up from 620 on Tuesday, marking the fifth consecutive day of slight declines. Of those hospitalized, 162 were in intensive care, the same number as on Tuesday.
About 80% of eligible county residents aged 12 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 72% were fully immunized. Of the county’s 10.3 million people, including those who are not eligible for vaccines, 69% have received a dose and 62% have been fully immunized.
The latest updates on vaccination rates in the county came on the same day Governor Gavin Newsom visited the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to urge people to get vaccinated before the holiday season, so that the State could prevent another deadly winter wave.
“Winter is coming. Winter is here,” Newsom said from behind a desk Wednesday. “Last year we had a tough winter, especially here in Southern California. We started to see At about the same time last year the case rates, the positivity rates, the hospital rates, the ICU numbers start to increase, and you’re starting to see that now all over the world.
Yet officials have faced resistance to vaccines – or at least vaccination warrants – in many parts of the county, including among public safety agencies.
The Los Angeles City Fire Union, for example, filed a complaint this week over the terms of a warrant requiring its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and will seek a temporary injunction against its application on Friday.
Los Angeles United Fire Department Local 112 filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday. The union wants a temporary restraining order issued against the vaccination warrant pending a hearing on a preliminary injunction and for the preliminary injunction to remain in effect until its charge of unfair practices before the Los Angeles City Employee Relations Board be resolved.
A representative of the city attorney’s office could not be reached immediately.
The city passed an ordinance in August directing city employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, unless they can justify a medical or religious exemption. City council recently approved a plan that gives employees more time to get vaccinated.
The union, however, argued in its complaint to the Employee Relations Commission that the city had negotiated in bad faith regarding the mandate. Specifically, the union opposes a requirement that unvaccinated employees must undergo COVID-19 tests twice a week and be tested by the supplier chosen by the city, then reimburse the city at $ 65 per test. .
The union representing LAPD officers, meanwhile, also filed a lawsuit against the city over his tenure – although he lost a round on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, like the firefighters union, argues in its lawsuit that the city did not negotiate in good faith by withholding information about the city’s test contractor, Bluestone. The city, the police union said, did not disclose information on the company’s contractual obligations, level of experience, the selection process and other matters.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff, however, said on Wednesday that the union failed to provide enough evidence of immediate harm if an TRO was not granted.
He has scheduled a hearing on a preliminary injunction for December 8.
Beckloff also on Wednesday dismissed a request for an early hearing on a preliminary injunction motion against the Los Angeles Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccine warrant for students.
The California chapter of Children’s Health Defense and a second group, Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids, filed the petition on October 13.
Beckloff said the hearing date will remain December 8, as postponing the hearing to next week would give district attorneys, as well as the judge himself, not enough time to review court documents of the applicants.
Resistance to the warrants has not deterred authorities from presenting them as an effective way to help end the pandemic.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, for example, called the mandate “critical to protecting the health and safety of our workforce and the Angelenos we serve.”
Garcetti is currently in isolation in Glasgow, Scotland, having tested positive for COVID-19 – but is expected to return home on Sunday, his office said on Wednesday.
Garcetti, who is fully vaccinated, tested positive for a COVID-19 PCR test on November 3 while in Scotland for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. He developed mild symptoms the next day and his office said on Wednesday that he was improving every day.