Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 1,324 New Cases, 57 Deaths 5/20/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for May 20th, 2020.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 57 new deaths and 1,324 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Thirty people who died were over the age of 65 years old; 12 people who died were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old, and two people who died were between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Thirty-two people had underlying health conditions including 24 people over the age of 65 years old, six people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old, and two people between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Ten deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and three deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.
To date, Public Health has identified 40,857 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 1,970 deaths. Ninety-two percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 1,826 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, 5,966 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (15% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. There are 1,531 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 nearly 380,000 individuals and 9% of people testing positive.
“Many people across the county have lost loved ones to COVID-19. To those who are experiencing devastating loss, we share in your sorrow, and you are in our thoughts and prayers,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We are continuing to do serology testing with samples of LA County residents. This testing allows us to better understand how many people have been exposed to COVID-19 and how the virus is showing up in our communities.”
Preliminary findings from the second community prevalence study done in partnership with the University of Southern California and the LRW Group suggests there was not much spread of the virus in the general community population during the time between this study and the study conducted in April. One thousand and fourteen LA County adults were tested between May 8 and May 12 using serology testing. Based on results of the second round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 2.1% of the County’s adult population has antibody to the virus. This compares to 4.1% among the 863 adults tested in the April study. The difference between the two results was not statistically significant and could be due to random variation. However, other factors could have contributed to the lower prevalence including different test site locations and recruitment efforts for a higher number of Latinos, Asians, and African Americans. Similar to the previous study, men were more likely than women to have been infected; 2.8% among men and 1.4% among women. There were only slight differences in positivity rates by race and ethnicity. However, there were differences in positivity rates by income levels, where 2.8% of people with a lower income level and 1% of people with a higher income level who were tested were positive. Although this round did not include the highest risk groups, Public Health is planning on surveying those living in congregate settings (e.g., skilled nursing facilities, homeless shelters, jails) or persons experiencing homelessness and living on the streets and is also planning a subsequent survey that will include children.
Current Health Officer Orders allow for retailers and manufacturers, select recreational facilities, and beaches to reopen and require specific higher-risk businesses to remain closed. Retailers remain closed to public entry and beaches are open for active recreation only. While many outdoor spaces are open, public and private gatherings of any number of people outside of a single household unit are still not permitted. Everyone must continue to 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. 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