Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 477 New Cases, 18 Deaths 5/18/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for May 18th, 2020.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 18 new deaths and 477 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Fifteen people who died were over the age of 65 years old and three people who died were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old. Fifteen people had underlying health conditions including 12 people over the age of 65 years old and three people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old.
To date, Public Health has identified 38,451 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 1,839 deaths. Ninety-two percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 1,706 people (99 percent of the cases); 39% of deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 29% 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. As of today, 5,835 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (15% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. There are 1,570 people who are currently hospitalized, 27% of these people are in the ICU and 20% are on ventilators.
Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for over 350,000 individuals and 9% of people testing positive. Testing capacity also continues to increase across skilled nursing facilities in LA County. With the support from Public Health, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and the City of Los Angeles, 141 skilled nursing facilities have tested all residents and staff. Of the over 3,600 people tested, 402 (11%) tested positive for COVID-19 and only 57 (14%) of the people who tested positive were symptomatic. This highlights the number of people, in any setting, who may be positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms. Public Health continues to schedule appointments with other skilled nursing facilities to complete testing, conduct on-site inspections and survey bed capacity, staffing capacity and availability of personal protective equipment.
“Many people across our county are experiencing the profound sadness of losing a loved one. Please know, we as a community mourn with you, and you are in our thoughts and prayers every day,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Because many more people are out than even a week ago, the risk for spreading COVID-19 is greater. It is so important that we all continue to practice physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings at all times when we are out and around other people to help prevent sharp increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”
Public Health continues to see increases in the number of positive cases and deaths among healthcare workers related to the COVID-19 pandemic response. Public Health has confirmed 26 people who died from COVID-19 worked in a healthcare setting; 20 people who died worked in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, four people worked in hospitals, one person worked in a correctional facility, and one person worked in an outpatient facility. A total of 4,298 confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurred among healthcare workers and first responders; this is an additional 684 new cases reported since the previous week. Six percent of healthcare workers with COVID-19 have been hospitalized. Forty-six percent of cases are among nurses, though cases have been identified among a range of occupational roles, including caregivers, people who work in administration, physicians and medical assistants. About 58% of these cases reported a known source of exposure, and 79% of healthcare workers with known exposure reported being exposed in a healthcare facility. Healthcare workers who are positive worked at 26 different occupational settings, with the vast majority of cases among healthcare workers from skilled nursing facilities and hospitals.
The current Health Officer Order replaces the previous Health Officer Order and allows for retailers and manufacturers, select recreational facilities, and beaches to reopen. Retailers remain closed to public entry and beaches are open for active recreation only. Everyone must follow distancing and infection control protocols, stay at least six feet apart 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. This Order continues to require that specific higher-risk businesses remain closed and prohibits public and private gatherings of any number of people outside of a single household unit.
Public Health will assess the activities allowed by the Order on an ongoing basis and modify the Order as appropriate. Residents will also be able to track progress on a Recovery Dashboard. Currently, 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.
An interactive dashboard is available that provides an overview on COVID-19 testing, cases and deaths along with maps and graphs showing testing, cases and death data by community poverty level, age, sex and race/ethnicity. The Health Officer Order, 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 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 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.(c) 2020 SCVTV