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Public Health Calls for More Vaccinations, COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Reaches Milestone
By Brian W. Carter, Contributing Writer
Published September 16, 2021

More than 243,000 applications have been received with more than $2.2 billion in rent and utility assistance currently requested and is pending eligibility verification and fraud prevention screening. Courtesy Photo

As of Monday, September 13, Public Health reported 13 new deaths and stated 1,121 new cases of COVID-19. There were 1,218 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 with 16% of nearly 8,370,000 individuals testing positive with symptoms.

“Out of all our nearly 10.3 million L.A. County residents, including those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, 57% are fully vaccinated,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “This is just not enough to avoid continued surges in cases. We need to increase vaccination coverage to avoid these cycles of tremendous transmission.”

California’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program reached a milestone this week as $1 billion in funding was paid or approved to assist over 74,000 additional households. More than $526 million of the $1 billion in rental and utility assistance has been distributed to 44,432 low-income California households, who suffered financial hardship because of the pandemic.

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“In just six months, we have provided essential assistance to more than 44,000 households to keep families safely housed,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Our program has been so successful that cities like Los Angeles decided to join efforts with the state to have an even greater impact.”

The milestone represents a 638 percent increase since June 28, when Governor Newsom signed AB 832, which increased the level of assistance to 100 percent for both back rent and prospective rent. More than 243,000 applications have been received with more than $2.2 billion in rent and utility assistance currently requested and is pending eligibility verification and fraud prevention screening.

“California has made important improvements to its Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program and is now among the best statewide programs in the country by rate of spending and number of people assisted,” said President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition Diane Yentel. “While the program had early challenges, the state is to be commended for recognizing the need for improvements in program design and implementation, and building on lessons learned to course correct. Now, California has one of the country’s more successful ERA programs and serves as a model to other states and localities to adopt evidence-based best practices to expedite assistance to tenants and landlords.”

Public Health identified 1,433,465 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 25,688 deaths. Cases across the Southland: Los Angeles County shows 1,358,226 cases, Long Beach with 62,312 cases and Pasadena with 12,927 cases.

According to race and ethnicity, COVID-19 statistics show: American Indian/Alaska Native with 2,300; Asian with 64,664; Black with 64,057; Hispanic/Latino with 703,897; Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander with 4,978; White with 163,477; those of other race and ethnicity with 115,352 and 239,501 under investigation. These numbers may have change over the course of the week due to a delay in reporting over the holiday weekend according to Public Health.

“While we continue efforts that guarantee easy access and build confidence in vaccines, we hope that targeted vaccination requirements help us see increases in the number of people vaccinated in the coming weeks,” said Ferrer.

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For more detailed information on COVID-19 vaccination plans in L.A. County and to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com

For more information and statistics on COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, please visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

*Los Angeles County Department of Public Health http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/

*California Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/index.html Spanish https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html

*World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

*LA County residents can also call 2-1-1

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