August 19, 2021 Update: New Masking and vaccine protocols; vaccines
LA County Requires Masking at Large Outdoor Events
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has modified their Heath Officer Order to require universal masking (regardless of vaccination status) at outdoor mega events. Outdoor mega events are defined as events that have 10,000 or more attendees. Masking will be required unless actively eating or drinking. Prior to this update, masking at outdoor crowded events was only recommended.
As the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread, wearing masks indoors and in crowded outdoor settings reduces the risk of being infected with and transmitting COVID-19. While emerging data affirms that fully vaccinated people are still well protected from severe infections and are less likely to become infected than unvaccinated people are, vaccinated people can still become infected and then transmit infection to others, including unvaccinated children and people who are immunocompromised.
State Announces New Vaccine or Testing Requirements for Indoor Events of 1,000+
The State announced yesterday that beginning on September 20, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for indoor events with 1,000 or more people attending. Currently, verification of vaccination or a negative test is only required when there are 5,000 or more people at an event. With this new order, self-attestation of vaccine status will no longer be allowed. At this point, this order will be in place through at least November 1, 2021. You can read more here.
Third Vaccine Dose Recommended for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals
Last week, the FDA and CDC approved an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for immunocompromised people. You can read more about it from the CDC here, but they are recommending a third dose for people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
If you are in one of these groups or think you may be immunocompromised, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for you.
Update on Booster Shots for Fully Vaccinated Individuals
Yesterday, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a statement that announced a plan to begin introducing COVID-19 booster shots next month, pending the FDA conducting an independent evaluation and their determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose, and the CDC then issuing a recommendation based on their review. You can read the full statement here. According to the statement, available data makes it clear that protection does begin to decrease over time, and with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are already seeing evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. Based on their latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the early phases of vaccine rollout. Because of this, they are preparing for booster shots to be offered to people 8 months after their second dose.
As more information about this becomes available and the County releases details on their rollout plan, we will of course keep you updated.
August 12, 2021 Update: COVID-19 Cases Increase in San Marino; Please Remember Proven Safety Measures
As we continue to track COVID-19 cases in LA County and our community, we wanted to give you an update on where we stand today. On July 22, we announced that there were currently 585 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in LA County. As of yesterday, that number was 1,242. The County also continues to announce up to 2,600 new cases per day.
While our community is highly vaccinated, we are unfortunately seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases as well. In one week (from last Thursday through today), we have seen 13 new COVID-19 cases in San Marino. This is a significant number, considering that it took us 45 days to report 13 new cases prior to this week.
With schools back in session and more families interacting, please remember that we have proven methods that stop or drastically slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated. Even if your children are not old enough to be vaccinated yet, getting vaccinated yourself will offer them a critical layer of protection. If your child is 12 or older, please talk to your doctor about getting them vaccinated. Among the more than 5.1 million fully vaccinated people in L.A. County, Public Health identified less than 1% or 15,628 people fully vaccinated who tested positive for COVID-19 as of August 3. And those who are getting it are getting much less severe symptoms. You can learn more about how to get vaccinated here.
- Continue wearing your masks. Wear masks when you are in public indoor settings or in outdoor crowded areas, especially if you or your children are unvaccinated. Currently, LA County’s health officer order requires masking in all indoor public spaces, and recommends masking in crowded outdoor settings.
- Watch for symptoms and stay home when needed. If you or your children are sick, please stay home, and take advantage of free COVID-19 testing. You can find testing appointments here.
Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep our community safe.