Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 1,956 New Cases, 61 Deaths 8/19/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for August 19th, 2020.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 61 new deaths and 1,956 new cases of COVID-19. The number of new cases reported today include a backlog of 100 test results received from the State and a few hundred cases from a lab that delayed reporting yesterday.
Backlog cases from the state electronic lab report (ELR) are still anticipated. Data sources that track other key indicators, including hospitalizations and deaths, are not affected by this reporting issue.
To date, Public Health has identified 225,827 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,392 deaths.
Data continues to expose disproportionality in health outcomes by race, ethnicity and income. However, Public Health sees signs of progress in closing the gaps.
Latino residents are dying at rates far higher than other group and were at 6 deaths per 100,000 people at the peak of transmission in July. This was 6 times higher than the rate for White residents at 1.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Now the death rate among Latino residents is 2.4 deaths per 100,000 people. While decreasing, this is still 2.5 times higher than White residents.
Black residents had a rate at 4 deaths per 100,000 people during the peak of transmission in July which was 3 times higher than White residents. Now, the mortality rate for Black residents is 1.7 deaths per 100,000 people, only slightly higher than that of White residents.
At its peak, on June 10, the mortality rate for people living in communities with the fewest resources was 7 deaths per 100,000 people. This is 7 times higher than that of people who were living in communities with the most resources, who had a death rate of 1 death per 100,000 people. On August 9, the death rate among people who live in areas with the fewest resources was 4.6 deaths per 100,000 people. This is 4 times that of the death rate of people who were living in the highest-resourced communities who continue to have a mortality rate at 1 per 100,000 people. This is a decrease from 7 times to 4 times. It’s still an extraordinary gap and stands for a lot of disproportionately and the devastation among the Latino/Latinx community, but some of our efforts may be starting to show our ability to narrow the gap.
Public Health has increased the number of investigations for non-compliance of the Health Officer Order from 2,877 investigations in March to 9,683 investigations in July. To date, there have been investigations at almost 30,000 workplaces. In the month of April, 30 businesses were closed for violations of the Health Officer Order. This number has decreased to 23 businesses closed for the month of July. Even as more inspections occurred in July than in April, there were less closures because most businesses have come into compliance with Health Officer Order directives. Public Health is hopeful more businesses will continue to come into compliance.
Of the 61 new deaths, 26 people that passed away (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were over the age of 80 years old, 20 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, six people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 39 years old. Thirty-eight people had underlying health conditions including 17 people over the age of 80 years old, 14 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, four people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and three people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Five deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach.
Ninety-two 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 5,072 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 50% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 15% 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, 160 cases and four deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Testing results are available for more than 2,121,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services expanded testing capacity to serve communities hardest hit by COVID-19 that experience racial and economic disparities. Currently, people living in under-resourced areas have the highest rate of testing at almost 20,000 tests per 100,000 people.
There are 1,378 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 32% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU.
“We are thinking of all of the people across our communities who are grieving a loved one who has passed away from COVID-19. We are so sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “COVID-19 has shined a stark light on systemic racism and inequity’s impact on health. By working together, we are starting to close the gaps for COVID-19 health outcomes. We must continue to implement solutions and take actions that reduce the devastating impact of this pandemic by ensuring that resources are targeted to the hardest hit communities.”
Businesses play a very important role in slowing the spread because their actions and policies have an enormous impact on their workers. Improving efforts to protect the health of workers by making workplaces as safe as possible helps reduce disproportionality because workplaces can fuel inequities.
Health Officer Orders require business owners to implement strategies that protect workers and customers. They must also report COVID-19 outbreaks to Public Health in a timely fashion. Health Officer Orders require businesses with three or more known cases of COVID-19 within the workplace over the span of 14 days, to report the outbreak to Public Health. Employers who have one known case within the workplace must have a protocol that requires that person to self-isolate at home and anyone exposed to self-quarantine.
Residents are encouraged to report non-compliance and dangerous conditions at any businesses, including businesses not regulated by Public Health. Residents can call 888-700-9995. These tips can be submitted anonymously.
Given past ELR delays, the department urges any person with a positive lab result to call 1-833-540-0473 to connect with a public health specialist who can provide information about services and support. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.
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/media/Coronavirus/(c) 2020 SCVTV