Data Shows Progress against COVID-19 Continues; 30 New Deaths and 1,063 New Positive Cases of Confirmed COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
LOS ANGELES:- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) continues seeing progress in key indicators, including positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths. Today, Public Health has confirmed 30 new deaths and 1,063 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. To date, Public Health has identified 270,299 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,576 deaths.
COVID-19 deaths continue to decline. The average daily reported COVID-19 deaths dropped to 14. After the increase in deaths in July that continued into August, we are seeing the average daily number of deaths continue to decrease to levels not seen since early April, at the beginning of the pandemic. This reflects declining numbers of cases and hospitalizations, and also reflects both improvements in treatment for COVID-19 patients and a shift in who is infected; with an increase in the proportion of cases among young people, there is an associated decrease in deaths.
There are 734 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 28% of these people are in the ICU. Hospitalizations have remained fairly steady the past couple of weeks after declining significantly since the middle of July when the County experienced an average of about 2,200 hospitalizations per day. As of September 24, the County is averaging 743 hospitalizations per day. This is the lowest number we have seen in 6 months.
The County’s percent test positivity, or the percentage of tests that are done that come back positive, has fallen significantly from an average of about 8% in July to about 3% in September. This is the lowest test positivity rate seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
Now that we have seen stabilizing or declining numbers across our metrics, and Los Angeles County didn’t experience a post Labor Day surge similar to the increases seen after Memorial Day and July 4th, the Board of Supervisors approved several Public Health recommendations for the staggered reopening of several sectors permitted by the State for counties in Tier 1 of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Over the next 10 days, the following sectors will be allowed to reopen once they implement the required protocols for infection control and distancing:
Nail salons may reopen for limited indoor services at 25 percent occupancy.
Cardrooms may reopen for outdoor gaming only. Food and beverages may not be served in cardrooms at this time.
Indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent maximum occupancy; all food courts and all common areas remain closed per the State order.
Outdoor playgrounds may reopen at the approval and discretion of cities and the County Parks and Recreation Department. Parents and children age two years old and older must always wear a cloth face covering, avoid people not in their household, and sanitize hands before and after using playground equipment. There is no eating or drinking allowed at the playground. Indoor playgrounds remain closed.
Public Health will work with County Counsel to determine the process for re-openings at breweries and wineries serving a meal.
Public Health will finalize the dates for each sector’s re-opening by the end of the week. Comprehensive protocols for all sectors that reopen will also be posted online to ensure the continued health and safety of workers and the community. We urge all operators of businesses that are currently closed to implement all the requirements in our protocols prior to reopening to ensure compliance and avoid citations, fines and possible closure. It is critical that directives and infection protocols are followed to minimize COVID-19 spread as much as possible.
“To everyone who is mourning people who have passed away from COVID-19, we keep you in our thoughts and in our hearts,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As more businesses and schools are reopening, let’s remind each other that diligence in slowing the spread of COVID-19 has brought us to a place where these openings are possible. In order to keep businesses and schools open and progress to Tier 2, we need to continue to be extraordinarily cautious and to use all of the tools we have that have been proven to reduce transmission. I’m proud to be part of the L.A. County community. This has been and continues to be a very difficult time for so many people and businesses. As we have worked together to slow the spread, we have shown how much we care for each other and our beautiful county.”
Of the 30 new deaths reported today, nine people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 11 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, four people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Twenty-four people who died had underlying health conditions including seven people over the age of 80 years old, 11 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, five people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and one person between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. One death was reported by the City of Pasadena and one death was reported by the City of Long Beach.
Ninety-two percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 6,190 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% among White residents, 15% among Asian residents, 10% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, 48 cases and five deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Testing results are available for more than 2,662,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive.