Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | L.A. County COVID-19 Update: 1,491 New Cases, 17 Deaths 4/20/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for April 20th, 2020.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 17 new deaths and 1,491 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). One thousand one hundred and ninety-one of these cases are from a backlog of tests received from one lab, and 293 are daily reported cases. Thirteen people who died were over the age of 65; two people who died were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old; one death occurred to a person between the ages of 18 to 40 years old. Twelve people had underlying health conditions including eleven people over the age of 65 and one person between the ages of 41 to 65 years old. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach.
To date, Public Health has identified 13,816 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 617 deaths. Eighty-nine percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 544 people (94 percent of the cases); 36% of deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 28% among White residents, 17% among Asian residents, 16% among African American residents, and 3% among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, 16 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents. As of today, 3,465 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (25% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for over 80,500 individuals and 13% of people testing positive.
Today’s dramatic increase in case counts should not cause undue alarm. As part of efforts to increase testing capacity in the county, many new labs responded to the emergency and are working with Public Health to ensure that they have the proper reporting systems in place. Until this reporting issue is resolved, there may be periodic increases in positive cases and total cases due to unevenness in daily reporting.
“My deepest condolences go out to the loved ones grieving today’s reported COVID-19 deaths. You are not alone,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Today we released preliminary results from a collaborative study with University of Southern California that suggests infection from COVID-19 are more widespread than previously thought. As we plan for our recovery, we are mindful that COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus and we all must continue to do our part to slow the spread. This means keeping our distance at all times, isolation when ill and quarantining if we have been in contact with someone positive for COVID-19.”
Preliminary findings from the community prevalence study done in partnership with the University of Southern California and the LRW Group suggests infections from the COVID-19 are far more widespread – and the fatality rate much lower – in L.A. County than previously thought. Eight hundred and sixty-three LA County adults were tested between April 10th and April 14th using serology testing. Based on results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has antibody to the virus- which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have had the infection. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time of the study in early April. The number of COVID-related deaths in the county has now surpassed 600. This information helps us better understand how COVID-19 is showing up in our communities.
Public Health reminds everyone that if you are ill, even with mild symptoms, please self- isolate at home for 7 days and until you are fever and symptom free for 72 hours. If you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is presumed to be infected with COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days from your last contact with that individual. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant may be at higher risk of serious illness and should contact their doctor as soon as they are sick.
The best protection against COVID-19 is to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolate if you are sick, practice physical distancing (especially by staying at home) and wear a clean face covering when out in the public procuring or providing essential services. N95 and surgical masks should only be used by healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers providing care for people who are ill. The current Health Officer Order extends the previous Health Officer Order through May 15 and requires essential businesses to provide a cloth face covering for all employees to wear while performing duties that involve contact with other employees and or the public and to post physical distancing plans. The public is required to wear a face covering to enter essential businesses as well.
Additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov .(c) 2020 SCVTV