Despite the recent uptick in COVID-19 infections because of the Delta variant, cases at skilled nursing facilities have plummeted since staff and residents began receiving vaccinations.

For the week ending June 20, nearly 30,000 COVID-19 tests were completed among skilled nursing facility staff and residents and only seven people tested positive for COVID-19; one new case among residents and six new cases among staff; the majority of these cases are among unvaccinated individuals. For comparison, the last week of December 2020, a total of 2,532 people tested positive for COVID-19; 1,423 cases among residents and 1,109 cases among staff. 

Currently, 84 percent of skilled nursing facility staff and 84 percent of skilled nursing facility residents are fully vaccinated. The low case rates at skilled nursing homes reflects these high vaccination rates. 

At the beginning of the week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) had confirmed three new deaths and 326 new cases of COVID-19. The number of cases and deaths may reflect reporting delays over the holiday. Of the three new deaths reported today, one person who passed away was between the ages of 65 and 79 and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. To date, Public Health identified 1,253,065 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,507 deaths. There are 273 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 7,070,000 individuals with 16 percent of people testing positive.

“We continue to see in places where there are high rates of COVID-19 vaccinations, transmission of COVID-19 has plummeted and remains low,” said Dr. Barbara Ferer, director of Public Health.”While vaccination rates continue to increase throughout L.A. County, COVID-19 and variants of concern like the Delta variant remain a threat to everyone unvaccinated. L.A. County has recently seen increases in cases, hospitalizations, and daily test positivity and the people that are overwhelming suffering from COVID-19, are the people who are not vaccinated.

“The best way to protect those not able to get vaccinated, including the 1.3 million children under 12 years of age, is to surround them with vaccinated folks. With rising community transmission, we already have noted increased cases occurring among even our very youngest children. If you are 12 or older and around younger children, please take time soon to get vaccinated if you have not yet done so. Let’s continue to keep each other safe,” Ferer said.”