CDC, Public Health update guidance for fully vaccinated individuals

Registered Nurse Maggie Wiercioch administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Vaccination center on Friday, 011520, 011520. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals Monday to report that they can attend gatherings with others without having to wear face-coverings or physical distancing. 

Individuals who are fully vaccinated are now permitted to gather with others who are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated in a single household and are at a low risk of contracting serious COVID-19 infections without the need of a face covering or physical distancing, the CDC and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced. 

“There’s a growing body of evidence that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially are less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others,” Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health, said in a press conference Monday. “However, masking and distancing will continue to be important during the vaccination process.” 

Ferrer added that fully vaccinated people should still refrain from gathering in large groups or gathering with people in multiple households, and continue to wear masks and physically distance if visiting someone who is considered high-risk for severe COVID-19 infections. 

This guidance comes as L.A. County continues to see a steady decline in daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths, according to Ferrer. 

“We made it through a devastating winter,” said county Supervisor Hilda Solis. “We’re also starting to see case rates that could potentially see the county move into the red tier and with that carries the ability to reopen more opportunities that haven’t been available to us.” 

The state also updated it’s “blueprint to a safer economy” guidance to include vaccinations with case rates to determine which tier counties are in. 

Once a county administers two million doses of the vaccine to the areas which are deemed hardest hit by COVID-19 or hardest to inoculate, the threshold to move from the purple tier to the red tier will go from seven new cases per 100,000 people to 10 new cases per 100,000 people.  

When the number of vaccinations administers doubles to four million for the same areas, the threshold to move from the purple tier to the red tier will remain at 10 per 100,000 people, but the threshold will change moving to the orange and yellow tiers.  

The threshold will change to four new cases per 100,0000 residents to six cases per 100,000 people to move into the orange tier, and one new case per 100,000 residents to two cases per 100,000 people to move into the yellow tier. 

“Last week the case rate in the county was below 10 new cases per 100,000 residents,” Ferrer said. “If this week’s adjusted case rate remains below, our understanding is that within 48 hours of the state announcing the vaccine trigger has been met, LA County will be moved into the red tier.” 

Ferrer added the threshold of administering two million doses to hard-hit communities in the county is expected to be met by the end of this week, and county officials are working to update the health officer order when the state permits. 

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

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 880 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,204,018 

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 13 

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 22,041 

Hospitalizations countywide: 1,132; 31% of whom are in the ICU. 

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of March 8: 7, with 1,168 discharged since the onset of the pandemic. 

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 30, 22 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita. 

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 26,508 

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 271 

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: 19,439 

Unincorporated – Acton: 455 

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 256 

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 45 

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 801 

Unincorporated – Castaic: 3,623 (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: 15 

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 17 

Unincorporated – Saugus: 132 

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 40 

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 1,078 

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 316 

Unincorporated – Valencia: 184

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