By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Los Angeles County reached one million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, January 16—the same day Public Health reported the first confirmed case of the U.K. coronavirus variant in the county.
“The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the United Kingdom, in an individual who recently spent time in Los Angeles County,” Public Health reported in a statement. “The individual is a male who traveled to Oregon, where he is currently isolating.”
The statement explained that although this is the first confirmed case of the variant, the department believes that the strain, which appears to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, was already spreading. There is currently no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death, Public Health continued.
“Presence of the U.K. variant in Los Angeles County means virus transmission can happen more easily and residents must more diligently follow the safety measures put in place to prevent additional cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” according to Public Health. “This includes wearing a face covering properly over your nose and mouth, physically distancing, and not gathering with people from outside your household.
“With community transmission at an all-time high, staying home as much as possible is the best protection.”
As the Post went to print, the current Safer at Home Health Officer Order, which includes no outdoor in-person dining, remains in effect with no changes.
“Public Health teams continue inspecting establishments and ensuring compliance with safety measures in the HOO, including metering and occupancy requirements,” according to the statement.
By Monday, January 18, Public Health reported that “nearly all skilled nursing facilities administered first doses of [the] COVID-19 vaccine”—which, as of Monday, meant 335 out of 340 across the county.
“Nearly 39,000 doses have been administered to staff and residents,” Public Health reported. “The remaining facilities are currently vaccinating or are scheduling vaccinations this week. Additionally, for facilities that completed their first doses, Public Health is supporting distribution and administration of their second doses of vaccine.”
As the Post went to print Tuesday evening, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had reached 1,031,874 across LA County when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena with 14,122 deaths.
There have been 602 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pacific Palisades and 12 deaths, with 115 additional in Palisades Highlands and one death. According to data released by Public Health, as of Monday, Pacific Palisades had 119 confirmed cases in the 14-day cumulative case report, with Palisades Highlands at 20.