The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Saturday confirmed 48 new deaths and 2,112 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The high number of cases are, in part, due to a backlog of test results being processed and also a new lab beginning to report results in a timely manner through the county’s Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) system.
Thirty-six people who died were over the age of 65 years old and eight people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old. Thirty-three people had underlying health conditions including 26 people over the age of 65 years old, and seven people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old.
To date, Public Health has identified 53,651 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 2,338 deaths. Ninety-three percent of people who died had underlying health conditions.
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 2,155 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 40% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 28% among White residents, 18% among Asian residents, 12% among African American residents, 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.
Upon further investigation, 23 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents. As of today, 6,486 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (13% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. There are 1,415 people who are currently hospitalized, 28% of these people are in the ICU and 19% are on ventilators.
Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for over 580,000 individuals and 8% of people testing positive.
Public Health continues to track health outcomes by race, ethnicity and income level data of people who have been tested, hospitalized and died from COVID-19. African Americans, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and people living in communities with high levels of poverty continue to have the highest rate of death per 100,000 people for COVID-19 when compared to other groups. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders have a death rate of 99 per 100,000, African Americans have a death of 29 per 100,000, Latinos/Latinxs have a death of 26 per 100,000, Asians have a death rate of 19 per 100,000, and Whites have a death rate of 14 per 100,000. People who live in areas with high rates of poverty have almost four times the rate of deaths for COVID-19 with 46 per 100,000 people, compared with communities with very low poverty levels who had a death rate of 12 per 100,000. Public Health continues collaboration with community, healthcare, and philanthropic partners to improve testing, connection to care and services, and in-language and culturally appropriate communications to the communities experiencing these inequitable outcomes.
“Each day, we join with families and friends mourning the devastating loss of life to COVID-19 and we keep those who are grieving in our thoughts and prayers,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “LA County is on our recovery journey, and as more businesses and spaces re-open, it has never been more important – as individuals, businesses and institutions – to use the tools that we all have to take care of each other and to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. This means practicing physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings when in public, and adhering to all directives in the Health Officer order.”
Los Angeles County received approval by the State on its variance. This variance allows the County to move through Stage 2 of the State’s 4-stage Pandemic Roadmap at an accelerated rate as determined by our local Health Officer. Public Health has amended the current Health Officer Order, Safer at Work and in the Community, to allow in-person dining at restaurants and hair salons to reopen once the establishments are able to implement the required distancing and infection control directives. The directives are contained in sector-specific protocols that guide re-opening and are available online. Inspectors will continue to offer technical assistance as they monitor businesses for compliance with the Health Officer Order. Higher-risk businesses remain closed.
As the recovery journey continues, more people being around one another may result in more transmission of COVID-19, more cases, and more hospitalizations and deaths. The actions everyone takes today will be reflected in our metrics in two or three weeks. Everyone must continue to follow distancing and infection control directives and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth when in contact with other people not in your household. Public Health will assess the activities allowed by the Order on an ongoing basis. LA County is in stage two of the five-stage Roadmap to Recovery and until the final stage five is reached, Health Officer Orders and directives will continue to ensure that we slow spread of COVID-19 to prevent an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 cases at healthcare facilities.
The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
The best protection against COVID-19 continues to be to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolate if you are sick, practice physical distancing, and wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household. People who have underlying health conditions remain at much greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, so it will continue to be very important for the County’s vulnerable residents to stay at home as much as possible, to have groceries and medicine delivered, and to call their providers immediately if they have even mild symptoms.