January 21, Updates

OC case numbers continue downward slide

Although still high and straining resources, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Orange County has steadily fallen over the last two weeks, from a Jan. 7 peak of 2,259 to 1,935 on Wednesday, a 14% decline (similarly, L.A. County hospitalizations are down 10% since Jan. 5). ICU cases in Orange County have leveled off from a high of 544 on Jan. 13 to 517 on Wednesday. Both figures are dramatically higher than last summer’s surge, which topped out at 722 hospitalizations and 245 ICU patients in mid-July.

Vaccinating California seniors may take till June

Under current allocations from the federal government, the state receives about 400,000 doses a week, or 500,000 in a good week. At that rate, it could take until June to finish injecting 70% of the state’s seniors, a top state health official said.

Lilly antibody cut virus risk 80% in nursing home study

Eli Lilly’s antibody therapy reduced nursing home residents’ and workers’ risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by as much as 80% when used preventively in a study.

California resumes Moderna vaccine after illness reports

California said it’s safe to resume using a batch of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine after some people fell ill and injections were halted. The decision frees up more than 300,000 doses to counties, cities and hospitals struggling to obtain supplies. The state had paused a specific lot after several people at a San Diego vaccination site needed medical care after getting the shot, possibly from rare but severe allergic reactions.

Wine country group sues Newsom over outdoor dining ban

Over 50 restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms and suppliers across Napa and Sonoma counties filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Gov. Gavin Newsom, citing a lack of scientific evidence that outdoor dining furthers the spread of COVID-19.

Long Beach to offer vaccine to grocery, restaurant workers

The city of Long Beach will offer COVID-19 vaccines to food sector workers in coming days, officials announced Wednesday. This includes employees at grocery stores and restaurants who live or work in Long Beach. But it excludes drivers for food delivery apps. Long Beach officials said they’re contacting employers, and that the vaccinations will take place at the Long Beach Convention Center — appointments required.

Three variant strains in California may be fueling surge

The CAL.20C strain was found in 36% of patients at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Another mutation, the L452R strain, was responsible for infecting 90 people in a hospital in San Jose.

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