The number of coronavirus outbreaks in the K-12 school is rising in Los Angeles County after many schools removed the mask wearing requirements.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said there were 14 new school outbreaks in the week ending Thursday. The previous week there were four.
The latter figure is the highest number since early February, during the rise of Omicron in the fall and winter. 12 attended primary schools and two secondary schools.
One of the outbreaks, in high school, involved dozens of infected people. It was initially reported that there were 26 corona cases related to each other; The outbreak has since grown to 60 cases in this school.
Among the K-12 campuses, “this is one of the biggest eruptions we’ve ever had in a school since the onset of the plague,” Ferrer said.
The 60-case outbreak is fueled by the more contagious sub-variance Omicron BA.2, Ferrer said, estimated to be 30% to 60% more contagious than the previous version of Omicron that swept the world last fall and winter.
The increase in school outbreaks overall occurs in part because of the removal of internal mask requirements, Ferrer said.
“Why do we see more outbursts? Well, that’s because some of the other defenses we had were no longer there,” Ferrer said. It’s clear that masks, when required, “really helped keep transmission low in these classrooms – especially because in some of our schools, ventilation systems are less than perfect.”
There are schools where many still wear masks, and in others, not so much, Ferrer said. “As long as there are people who don’t wear them, it will be much easier to broadcast,” Ferrer said.
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during younger children, with lower immunization rates in those age groups. Only 31% of Los Angeles County children ages 5 to 11 have completed their initial vaccination series, while 77% of young people ages 12 to 17 have done so.
Another factor behind the rise in school outbreaks, Ferrer said, is “the change in the state’s quarantine directive, which no longer requires asymptomatic students to stay in school during their quarantine period to wear masks and be tested.”
The latest trend is “touching because it represents an increased transmission of the virus in school settings,” Ferrer said.
“If we continue to see an increase in the number of school outbreaks, we are going to work with our school partners to determine what additional safety measures are needed,” Ferrer added.
Ferrer reiterated her strong recommendation that anyone in public public settings, including schools, continue to wear masks. She noted that in other settings where masking is still required – such as nursing homes and shelters for the homeless – there has been no increase in outbreaks.
Although he noted that there were some people who were determined never to put on a mask again, Ferrer said there would be cases where it was important to do so, as is currently happening.
“When you have a positive person, and you put on a good mask – especially a soul machine, something that fits well, that filters well – and even if there is a positive person near you, you dramatically reduce the chances of getting infected,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer said other protective measures schools can take include improving ventilation, monitoring students and symptom detection staff, examining anyone who has symptoms or being exposed to an infected person, sending infected people home, accepting exposed students wearing masks at school. Tested,, and offers routine weekly tests to students who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.
The state’s requirement to wear masks in indoor 12 indoor frames ended on March 12, allowing schools to make their own decisions about masks. LA District School Unified repealed its March 23 internal masking requirement.
After weeks of continuous declines, corona cases in Los Angeles County began to rise. In the week ending Thursday, Los Angeles County averaged about 879 cases per day, or 61 cases per week per 100,000 residents. That which places the LA district is a condition of significant corona virus transmission rate.
The last case rate is about 28% higher than it was a week earlier, with the county reporting about 685 cases a day.
The rate of cases is also rising in San Francisco. At the University of California, San Francisco hospitals, 2% of the asymptomatic people tested are found to be infected with corona, compared to 1% at the end of March, Tweeted on Twitter Dr. Robert Wechter, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University. The rate of positive tests for Corona for patients is clearly 15%, compared to 8% in the same period.
“Signs of aliyah are now unmistakable,” Wechter wrote. “If you let the guard down, it’s time to be more careful.”
But while corona virus cases are increasing in the Los Angeles and San Francisco counties, a number of experts have also expressed optimism that California and the U.S. could see a relatively moderate increase in cases and save from the kind of large increase that puts tremendous pressure on hospitals.
Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Institute for the Translation of Scripts in La Jolla, noted Twitter In the northeastern U.S., where BA.2 became dominant earlier than on the West Coast, despite a small increase in the number of cases, there appears to be “no sign of a wave or rapid rise” like the one seen in the first omicron wave that recently hit a fall.
“Cautious Optimist”, Tweeted on Twitter Dr. Peter Qin-hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
Indeed, in Los Angeles County, the number of Corona virus hospitalizations remained low, with 273 corona-positive patients in district hospitals as of Wednesday. This is close to the lowest figure of the epidemic, with 212 patients infected with the corona virus staying in district hospitals on 12 June.
Ferrer urged people to get vaccinated and strengthened, and recommended that those aged 50 and over who are suitable for a second urge to get it. Those who are eligible for a second booster should be removed for at least four months from their first booster.
“If you’re a person who wants to make sure you’re optimally protected … go ahead and get the second boost,” Ferrer said. “Keeping your immune system as good as possible is not a bad idea when you have a variant that is more easily transmitted that starts to spin.”
Ferrer also expressed optimism that spring would not be as bad as the rise of the Omicron last fall and winter, which has placed a strain on hospitals.
In Los Angeles County, well over a million people were infected with Omicron’s previous subdivision, Ferrer said, and people infected with this version are unlikely to be infected with BA.2.
What helps is that 75% of Los Angeles County residents ages 5 and up have completed their primary immunization series, and more people are getting their first and second booster dose. In addition, more anti-COVID drugs – including in the form of pills – are becoming available over time, though it is still not very easy for people to access all of these drugs, Ferrer said.
“We are going to be very aware that this virus is unpredictable and stay prepared and do our best to minimize the tragic consequences,” Ferrer said. “However, I hope that given what we have seen and what we are doing, we should be able to prevent a really big increase.”
She said she could not predict the future but hoped “we can continue to do our part and keep ourselves from having a bad spring”.
One point of concern is that the U.S. government has stopped repaying vaccine providers for giving uninsured injections. Ferrer urged Congress to reach an agreement as soon as possible to renew that funding.
Los Angeles County and other vaccine providers continue to offer vaccines and reinforcements for free for the uninsured, but they can not afford to do so for too long, Ferrer said.
“Those dollars save lives,” Ferrer said, in an attempt to fight the virus she called “much more deadly than we’ve experienced with many other viruses, certainly in my lifetime.”
“In the midst of an epidemic it is not the time for us again to shorten our communities and their ability to do everything in their power to reduce the burden of disease and death,” Ferrer said.