County prepares to vaccinate essential workers, educators starting Monday

Coronavirus. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

Los Angeles County Public Health officials prepare to expand vaccine eligibility to include three more sectors of essential workers who can start receiving vaccinations next week.

Educators, food and agriculture workers and emergency service workers will be able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Monday, which amounts to more than 1 million people in the county, said Paul Simon, chief science officer for Public Health, during a news briefing Friday.

“People will be required to bring proof to their appointment that they live or work in LA County and work in the eligible sectors to receive the vaccine,” Simon said.

Those who are eligible to receive a vaccine next week can bring employment badges or pay stubs as proof, and Simon encouraged everyone getting vaccinated to bring a driver’s license or identification card which lists an address.

As of Friday, Simon said nearly 2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the county, with 1,358,050 of those being first doses and 600,497 being second doses.

Panelists with The Drug and Food Administration voted unanimously Friday to endorse the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which could be the third COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use as early as this weekend, according to FDA officials.

Once authorized, 380,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be shipped to California, Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference Friday, in addition to the regular Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccine allocations.

Simon said the county can expect a “significant amount” of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine once authorized and can further ramp up vaccine distribution due to the vaccine being a single-dose and is easier to store.

Public Health also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Friday:

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 1,838

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,189,232

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 144

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 21,241

Hospitalizations countywide: 1,886; 30% of whom are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Feb. 24: 17, with 1,142 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 56, 38 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 25,972

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 265, with two additional deaths being reported by Henry Mayo Monday and one more Wednesday.

The numbers of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, broken down into region, are as follows:

City of Santa Clarita: 19,024 

Unincorporated – Acton: 444

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 252

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 43

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 788

Unincorporated – Castaic: 3,577 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 40

Unincorporated – Newhall: 66

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 1

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 14

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 15

Unincorporated – Saugus: 131

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 40

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 1,049

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 309

Unincorporated – Valencia: 179

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