Public Health Urges Residents to Be Cautious as Community Transmission Continues to be Widespread in L.A. County
LOS ANGELES:- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 10 new deaths and 953 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. Today’s low number of cases may be a result of several missing reports from yesterday evening. To date, Public Health has identified 288,136 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 6,863 deaths.
Los Angeles County remains in Tier 1, the most restrictive tier, in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The tiered framework, places counties in one of 4 tiers depending on three metrics measuring community transmission and health equity. Options for sector re-openings, including schools, and permitted activities are aligned with each Tier. The County’s level of community transmission is still too high to advance to the next tier.
This week, Public Health updated the Health Officer Order to align with State guidance on private gatherings, which allow limited private gatherings with three or fewer households. All private gatherings must occur outdoors. Attendees must wear a cloth face covering when they are together except when they are eating or drinking and keep at least six feet of physical distance. Food must be served in single-serve disposable containers, and the duration of the gathering should be two hours or less.
It is recommended that if residents do gather with two other households, that they do so with the same households each time, creating a quasi-bubble that can reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others. A single household or living unit does not include institutional group living situations such as dormitories, fraternities, sororities, or residential care facilities. Nor does it include commercial group living arrangements such as boarding houses, hotels or motels.
It is critically important that residents not attend any private gatherings if they are experiencing symptoms of illness, have tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have been exposed or likely have been exposed to someone who is positive.
The highest number of cases among all age groups in L.A. County are in residents between the ages of 30 and 49 years old at 34% of all cases. The second highest are among residents between the ages of 18 and 29 years old with 25% of all cases. However, 74% of COVID-related deaths have occurred in residents over the age of 65.
There are 746 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 24% of these people are in the ICU.
“We know there are people across our community who have suffered tremendous loss. For those of you mourning the passing of a loved one, we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “To slow community spread of COVID-19 in our county we must all partner together; businesses and residents must do their part and adopt the infection control measures that we know to be effective. Each of us has the opportunity every single day to make the right choices for our health and the health of those around us. If we work together to limit transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19, not only will the County move to a less restrictive tier that allows us to consider additional re-openings, we will save lives.”
Of the 10 new deaths reported today, two people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, four people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, two people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach. All nine deaths reported today by Los Angeles County are people who 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 6,460 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 14% 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, 39 cases and two deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Testing results are available for more than 2,890,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive.
The best way to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 is to put six feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household, and wear a face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Face coverings protect other people in case you are infected and do not know it, as COVID-19 can spread to others even if someone does not feel sick. Please remember to also wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Isolating when you are positive for COVID-19 and quarantining if you have been exposed to someone who is positive are also important tools in preventing transmission of the virus.