Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 671 New Cases, 61 Deaths 9/9/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for September 9th, 2020.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 61 new deaths and 671 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. The high number of new deaths are from a backlog of reports received from over the weekend, and the low number of new cases reflect reduced testing due to the excessive heat.
Public Health is carefully monitoring data over the next couple of weeks to see the impact of the holiday weekend on the transmission of the virus across County communities and recommends testing for individuals possibly exposed to COVID-19.
If you were potentially exposed to COVID-19 over the holiday weekend, you are encouraged to get tested. For example, if you were in a crowded area this weekend and people were not wearing cloth face coverings, you should get tested. If you were around someone who was feeling sick, you should get tested. And if you were with someone who has tested positive for the virus, even if they never felt sick, you should get tested. Testing sites are open and appointments are available.
Just over two weeks after Independence Day, the County experienced increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. For example, the 7-day average of daily reported COVID-19 cases around July 4 was about 2,200 cases per day, but two weeks later the number of new cases increased to over 3,100.
In July, the County saw the steepest increases in hospitalizations, where the average was over 2100 hospitalizations per day; the most significant peaks were two to three weeks after the July 4 holiday. This past month however, daily hospitalizations have dropped back to an average of under 1000 hospitalizations a day, similar to the numbers in early April. Currently, there are 936 people who are confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 33% of these people are in the ICU.
The 7-day average of daily deaths before July 4 was around 30 deaths per day, and tragically, 22 days after the July 4 holiday, the number of deaths climbed up to 44 deaths per day.
To date, Public Health has identified 249,859 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,090 deaths. Testing results are available for nearly 2,393,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
“Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a friend or a loved one to COVID-19. We wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We have made tremendous progress as a County since mid-July in bringing down our community transmission rates and preventing a catastrophic level of demand on our health care system. We have been successful, in large part, because people have been following what we know are the best public health practices we have. We have avoided gatherings and moved many services outdoors. Unfortunately, what we’ve learned from the past several months is that we cannot return to normal at this time; we need to maintain our vigilance so that we can continue to suppress the spread of the virus and get to a place when we can safely reopen additional sectors, especially schools.”
Last week the County announced a plan to allow for reopening K-12 schools for in-person special services for high need students. This includes students with individualized education plans and English-language learners, as well as other students who may need assessments and support that cannot be provided through virtual learning. In order to reopen for special services, Public Health ask schools to send a notification form to the department. The form is available on our website as a fillable PDF and asks for basic information – the name of the school, the anticipated number of students and staff expected by grade, and a point of contact at the school. The form also requires the school to attest to having adequate PPE in compliance with County and State guidance, a plan or protocol in place for testing and outbreak management, and that they will adhere to the school protocols.
As fall and winter approaches, Public Health asks everyone to begin to think ahead about how you will navigate the fall and winter carefully. This includes the upcoming Halloween holiday. For this year, it is simply not safe to celebrate in the usual ways. Gatherings, events, parties, carnivals, festivals, haunted house attractions, are already prohibited under the Health Officer Order. Public Health recommends trick or treating not happen this year and offers other ways to celebrate that are safe for children and families, including hosting an online party and decorating homes and yards. There are also some Halloween-related activities that are safer, including car parades and drive-in movie nights. Detailed guidance can be found online at: www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
Of the 61 new deaths reported today (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena), 22 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 13 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 23 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. Forty-six people had underlying health conditions including 15 people over the age of 80 years old, 10 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 19 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old and two people between the ages of 30 and 49. 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 5,728 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% 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, 53 cases and seven deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Data continues to show African American/Black, Latino/Latinx, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander residents and those in low-income communities continue to have disproportionate health outcomes. Although these numbers for highly-impacted groups are decreasing, as is the case overall in LA County, Latino/Latinx residents are three times as likely to die from COVID-19 and African American/Black residents are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 when compared to White residents. Communities with high levels of poverty are four times as likely to die of COVID-19 when compared to residents with the highest income. Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders have a rate of hospitalization that is almost five times that of White residents. Racism and inequitable access to resources have played a significant role in the pandemic, as it does in other areas of health. This is why a wide range of actions is needed to address the inequities we continue to witness. These include ensuring protections for workers, especially low-wage workers, offering services and support to those needing to isolate and quarantine, making sure testing is widely-available in under-resourced areas, partnering with trusted community organizations for advocacy and information sharing, and addressing discrimination and racism that limits opportunities and resources available for optimal health and well-being.
The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Data Dashboard, Recovery Metrics, 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(c) 2020 SCVTV
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