The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently reported 12,112 new COVID-19 cases among African-Americans over the previous week (up by 2,214). In Los Angeles County the total number of diagnosed Black cases was 100,267 with 2,359 deaths.
Last week the new COVID-19 rate among Blacks reached 100K, which is more than 10 percent of the County’s Black population. The Omicron death rate is lower than during the other surges, yet the deaths experienced last week is a crisis for Los Angeles County’s minority population of Blacks.
A total of 2,789 African-Americans–12 years and older– were vaccinated last week in Los Angeles County, compared to a previous count of 2,604 (up by 185 vaccinations.)
Based on focus groups among Blacks, community members are less likely to follow COVID-19 guidance because of the constantly changing nature of the information shared and blaming of the unvaccinated .
“We all need to exercise more caution in the weeks ahead,” said an LA County Public Health released a statement. “One effective strategy for reducing transmission is to wear a high-quality mask whenever around non-household members. It is also time to pause those non-essential activities where people are unmasked and in close contact with others. The reality is that parties and events, especially those indoors, make it easy for the virus to spread. Limiting our time with others to those more essential work or school activities is a prudent action for us to take when-ever possible until the surge subsides.”
Unvaccinated Blacks should talk to their physician, pharmacist, and vaccinated family members about getting vaccinated. Public Health recommends if you’re gathering with anyone at higher risk of severe illness or who is not fully vaccinated, do so safely outdoors as much as possible, wear masks when indoors and keep your distance while eating/drinking, or even consider getting together virtually.
In addition to gathering safely, avoid crowded places and wear masks when in crowded outdoor settings. If traveling, follow all local and national public health vaccination, testing, and quarantine guidelines.