Long Beach reported Tuesday that another 15 people have died from COVID-19 and 1,530 people tested positive as of Jan. 16.

The news comes as the city kicked off a mass vaccination effort for those over 65, among other groups, after initially inoculating those who work in the medical field and first-responders. About 1,800 people were scheduled for vaccination appointments on Tuesday at the Long Beach Convention Center, with about 3,000 expected to be vaccinated daily for the next several weeks.

The city has now reported 535 deaths and a total of 44,418 cases since the pandemic began in March.

A bit of good news, however, in Tuesday’s numbers is that hospitalizations are edging downward, with about 511 people with COVID in the five hospitals that serve the city. That is down about 50 people since Friday, and down from a high of 581 people on Jan. 12.

Health officials worry, however, about another spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths that may be looming after the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays.

Hospitalizations at the county level on Tuesday were also stabilizing, with 7,253 patients in Los Angeles County medical facilities, which is down from a high of around 8,000 last week.

The county on Tuesday reported another 186 deaths due to the virus, pushing the overall death toll to 14,122. Another 7,902 cases were also confirmed, raising the overall county case total to 1,031,874.

Health officials noted that the statistics were skewed due to reporting delays from the holiday weekend.

City News Service contributed to this report.