Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 652 New Cases, 16 Deaths 9/21/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for September 21st, 2020.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 16 new deaths and 652 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. To date, Public Health has identified 261,446 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 6,366 deaths. The number of cases and deaths reported today reflect a weekend reporting lag.
There is significant potential for transmission of COVID-19 at workplaces, making it critically important for employers to adhere to the workplace protocols that require infection control, distancing, masking, and appropriate PPE for all workers. This is particularly important since after work, many of us go home to family members and other people we live with, some of whom may be at higher risk for becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
Public Health’s compliance team continues to visit businesses across the County every day. Inspectors review County reopening protocols with business owners and ensure they are familiar with all requirements related to disinfection, the use of face coverings, physical distancing, and any other specific required modifications and employee protections. Initial efforts of compliance inspections are focused on educating business owners and workers about how to stay safe but can result in citations for non-compliance where businesses are in violation of the Health Officer Order and protocols.
As a result of inspections conducted since August 30, 46 citations have been issued to 25 establishments. In some cases, these establishments were also closed because there were significant health and safety concerns or flagrant violations of the Health Officer Orders, including operating indoors in violation of the State and County Health Officer Orders.
Public Health has multiple ways for anonymous reporting of violations of Health Officer Orders and protocols in the workplace. Workers or employers can call the Environmental Health Customer Call Center at 888-700-9995, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays or can make a complaint and report violations online at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
Nearly two weeks ago, the County launched the Safety Compliance Certificate Program that allows businesses to complete an on-line training and self-certify that they are fully implementing the required COVID-19 Protocols to make their workplace as safe as possible for both employees and customers. A total of 663 businesses and 712 employees have taken the training and received the certificate. The training is free and is found on the Public Health website. As a reminder this training is not mandatory, and all businesses must still comply with required protocols. Businesses that complete the training can post the safety certificate.
“For those who are mourning loved ones and friends who have passed away from COVID-19, we are so sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Worker protections and safe workplaces are an essential part of slowing the spread of COIVD-19 and protecting the health of our communities, and I want to thank all the workplaces who have followed the requirements for opening that are laid out in the Health Officer Order, as well as the workplaces that have diligently reported outbreaks and taken the infection control steps to protect their workers. We are working with the Board of Supervisors to establish worker public health councils that help ensure employee safety, particularly among sectors experiencing high numbers of cases and/or outbreaks.”
Of the 16 new deaths reported today, eight people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, four people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, two people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Eleven people who died had underlying health conditions including eight people over the age of 80, two people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, and one person between the ages of 30 and 49 years old.
Testing results are available for more than 2,552,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive. There are 749 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 28% of these people are in the ICU.
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 5,989 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% 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, three cases and three deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Public Health continues tracking the number of positive cases and deaths among healthcare workers related to the COVID-19 pandemic response. There has been a total of 89 deaths and a total of 14,977 positive cases among healthcare workers and first responders in Los Angeles County. Sixty eight percent of these cases occurred among women, 30% among men, and 2% among people who identify as another gender or the gender was not specified. Nearly 50% of healthcare workers who tested positive for COVID-19 are Latino/Latinx, 15% are Asian, 11% are White, 7% are African American/Black, 1% are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1% identify with two or more races, 2.5% identify with another race, and race/ethnicity was unknown or unspecified for 13%. Deaths and cases among healthcare workers surged in the early months of the pandemic before we knew about asymptomatic spread and when there were significant shortages of PPE. There was an additional surge in cases and deaths following the July 4th holiday. Since mid-July cases and deaths among healthcare workers have been declining.
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.(c) 2020 SCVTV