LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – An increase in Omicron cases continued to rage across most of southern California, with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials reporting more than 43,000 new cases Friday, numbers close to record highs.
“You know you’re talking to people who’s up three, four nights in a row and they’m not in the hospital, they’re home, but they can not sleep because they’re coughing … or they’ve lost their taste buds and “sense of smell for several weeks, or they have had a fever, or they isolate themselves from the people they love for a long time and miss birthday celebrations. So yes, I think everyone should continue to be careful,” he said. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of LA County Health.
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While LA County Health said it is too early to know if cases have peaked here, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are hopeful the increase has leveled off in places like New York.
“In some parts of the country, we are seeing the number of daily cases caused by the Omicron variant begin to decline,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director.
In addition, the White House Coronavirus Response Team said there is reason to be optimistic about where the pandemic may be heading.
“We are moving toward a time when COVID will not disrupt our daily lives, where COVID will not be a constant crisis, but something we protect against and address,” said White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients.
Three new studies published on Friday confirmed that current vaccines still provide good protection against COVID-19, at least among people who had received their booster syringe. Now a California senator is introducing legislation that he believes will encourage more young people to get a chance.
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Scott Weiner is pushing for children between the ages of 12 and 17 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without their parents’ permission in the state of California.
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“Unfortunately, there are some family situations where parents forbid their teens to get the vaccine, and that means a child can get sick, can be hospitalized and, God forbid, can die,” Weiner said.
The legislation has created some disagreements.
“This seems to me to be another example of Democrats wanting to remove parents from the equation,” Republican Rep. James Gallagher said. “I think it’s a flawed policy. I think parents are crucial to those decisions.”
There is also frustration among parents waiting for their younger children to be eligible for the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci goes back with his comments about when children under the age of 5 could start getting shot, and says he does not know when the Food and Drug Administration will approve vaccines for that age group.
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Health leaders in LA County said they are still looking at the data for the next few days to determine if we really have the plateau or not.