Los Angeles County touts plummeting COVID rate at nursing homes as reason to get vaccinated

Los Angeles County public health officials are pointing to plummeting COVID-19 cases at skilled nursing facilities as a reason to get vaccinated.

Officials say the facilities are a case study on the effectiveness of the inoculations.

"Where we see high rates of vaccination, we are seeing transmission of COVID-19 plummet," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Wednesday. "Each person that is vaccinated has the best protection against COVID-19."

According to the Department of Public Health, 83% of skilled nursing facility residents and staff - who were among the hardest hit in the early days of the pandemic - have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The vast majority of them have received both doses.

During the week of April 17, nearly 45,000 COVID tests were performed among all staff and residents at such facilities, with only about two dozen positive results.

That's compared to more than 2,500 positive tests at nursing facilities during the last week of December.

"Throughout the pandemic individuals have taken actions, like masking and distancing, that have protected not only themselves but protected others," Ferrer said. "Getting vaccinated is no different. Not only are you protecting yourself, you are doing your part to stop transmission and prevent hospitalizations and deaths. While millions of county residents are fully vaccinated, we still have a way to go to get to a level of vaccinations that will make COVID-19 no longer a threat. Encourage your family and friends not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated."

City News Service contributed to this report.
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