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LA County Reaches 20,198 New Daily Cases; New requirements for quarantine discriminate based on booster status

Ferrer admits that 66% of new Covid cases are among the Vaccinated; and that half of all Covid cases are asymptomatic.

December 30, 2021 - Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health was correct in last week's prediction that the county would reach 20,000 new cases per day by the end of the year.

In a press conference this afternoon, Dr. Ferrer added that there were 24 deaths today and 1,251 people are in the hospital. So far, deaths have remained steady, but Ferrer warned that deaths often lag behind cases by several weeks.

Dr. Ferrer said she expected the Omicron variant to eventually dominate over the Delta variant as it has in other parts of the country. She admitted that though cases are increasing most rapidly among the vaccinated, they are rising for both the fully vaccinated and the boosted. The rate ratio between unvaccinated to vaccinated Covid cases went from 4.4 for the week December 5-11 to 2.5 one week later.

Nevertheless, amid the surge in cases, Ferrer said, "We're moving toward a more sensible attitude toward quarantining." The new requirements for quarantine are:

Any individual exiting isolation after day 5 must have a negative Covid test on day 5 and be asymptomatic, symptoms have improved and be fever free

Any individual exiting quarantine after day 5 must have a negative Covid test on day 5 and by asymptomatic

Those leaving quarantine after day 5 must wear a medical-grade mask when around others, both indoors and outdoors for 5 additional days

Close contacts who are unvaccinated or who haven't received a booster shot even though eligible must quarantine for the minimum 5 days

Ferrer recommended testing over checking oneself for symptoms of Covid. Many people are completely asymptomatic, she said. In addition, symptoms can take between one to 14 days to appear, during which time an individual may be infectious.

Dr. Ferrer was in favor of the Rose Parade going forward, citing the immense work put into the event and her trust in the event organizers to institute appropriate safely protocols. As for event goers, she said, "I trust people to assess their own risk."

When asked how to respond to a public sense of anxiety and depression during the present surge, Ferrer said, "People have a right to be anxious, a right to be depressed." She called such feelings "appropriate." For herself, she said, "I like to remind myself we've made a lot of progress."


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