Public Health Reports Highest Number of New Cases in L.A. County as Hospitalizations Surge
LOS ANGELES:- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirms the highest number of new COVID-19 cases with 6,124 new cases reported. Around 1,500 cases are backlog cases due to reporting systems being updated over the weekend.
The County is experiencing a steeper increase in daily cases of COVID-19 than seen during the summer surge in June and July. From June 20 through July 3, average daily cases increased 43%. From October 31 through November 13, the average daily cases have increased 108%. Public Health is not confident these numbers will decrease this week since new case numbers reflect actions people were taking a couple of weeks ago.
As cases have increased over the last few weeks, we are also seeing distressing increases in the daily number of people hospitalized for COVID-19. There are 1,473 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 27% of these people are in the ICU. This is a 73% increase from November 7 when the daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 849.
As COVID-19 spread surges in Los Angeles County, the number of COVID-19 workplace outbreaks across multiple sectors are increasing at alarming levels.
In just a two-week period, from October 31 to November 14, we have seen outbreaks in food facilities increase by over 200%. Food facilities includes restaurants, bottling plants, food processing facilities, grocery stores, and other food-related businesses that are operating in the County.
During the same time period, we have seen a 67% increase in outbreaks at general worksites which include many other worksites, including warehouse facilities, essential office worksites, retailers and manufacturing facilities.
Today, Public Health has confirmed 8 new COVID-19 deaths. The low number of new deaths reported today reflect a reporting lag from over the weekend. To date, Public Health identified 370,636 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,446 deaths. Upon further investigation, eight cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
“For everyone across the county who are grieving these 7,446 people who have passed away from COVID-19, we are mourning with you. We wish you all healing and peace as you are going through this very difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “The data emphasizes some of the ripple effects we are seeing as COVID-19 cases across the county are surging. At the end of the day, more people are becoming infected at their jobs and this results in more transmission back in the community. As we have asked so many times over the past months, we hope you will be able to dig deep and find a way to make the changes required with the new safety modifications. We are fortunate that there is now a very bright light at the end of this long tunnel with the promising news about effective vaccines and we know we will be in a different place next year. This year though, we need to continue to ask all individuals and businesses to own their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 so that we can stop the surge in cases and ultimately get back to our recovery.”
The controls that our jurisdiction and other states and communities have put in place work. While we may resent the safety measures, and many have a tremendous impact on families and the economy, a recent report in the New York Times has shown they prevent significant suffering and death. States with the fewest control measures in place to slow transmission of the virus are seeing some of the highest case rates during this current national surge. States with the tightest control measures have among the lowest daily cases rates, despite seeing increases.
Public Health is closely tracking the number of positive cases among healthcare workers related to the COVID-19 pandemic response to be sure we have sufficient healthcare workers to staff our facilities and care for patients. This week, we are reporting an additional 842 new cases among healthcare workers, one of the highest increases seen in months. When community transmission increases, this affects health care workers in two ways; they have many more patients to care for and they also experience more exposures both at work and in their communities.
Last week, Los Angeles County established thresholds for additional actions if the five-day average of cases is 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day. Specifically, the County noted in a press release on November 17 that if the five-day average of cases is 4,000 or more, outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be prohibited and these businesses will only be able to offer pick-up and delivery. Because the five-day average of new cases increased to more than 4,000 cases this past Saturday, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order is being modified to restrict dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars effective Wednesday, November 25 at 10:00 p.m.
If the five-day average of cases is 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a Targeted Safer at Home Order with additional safety modifications will be issued. Given that our five-day average case rate is now over 4,500, Public Health will be working with the Board of Supervisors to determine additional safety modifications.
More than ever, we ask our business partners to take extra steps to be fully compliant with the new safeguards and restrictions set forth in the modified state and County’s Health Officer Orders.
Of the eight new deaths reported today, two people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, five people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64 years old. All of these people who died had underlying health conditions.
Ninety-three 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 7,028 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% among White residents, 14% among Asian residents, 9% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.
Testing results are available for nearly 3,583,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.