Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 510 New Cases, 3 Deaths 10/21/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for October 21st, 2020.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reports since mid-September, the daily number of cases increased to an average of about 1,000 new cases per day. From the beginning of August through the beginning of September, the number of new cases were under 800 new cases per day. With more interactions between people as businesses re-open, there is an increased risk of transmission that can result in people becoming seriously ill and tragically passing away.
We continue to closely monitor the County’s data to understand how the actions we take to slow the spread, as well as how reopening sectors, affects our L.A. County communities.
Today, Public Health has confirmed 33 new deaths and 510 new cases of COVID-19. The number of new cases reported today is an undercount and reflects technical issues with data reporting systems. To date, Public Health has identified 290,486 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,944 deaths.
Given the technical issues with data reporting systems over the last 2 days, the department reminds anyone with a positive lab result that has not yet connected with a Public Health specialist, 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 County’s daily case numbers continue to keep us in the State’s most restrictive purple tier (Tier 1) in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Currently, L.A. County’s adjusted case rate is 7.6 new cases per 100,000 people. In order to move to the next less restrictive Tier, the County must reduce its daily number of new cases to 7 or less new cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks.
The County’s overall test positivity rate is 3.4% which meets the threshold for Tier 3 and the test positivity rate in our lowest-resourced areas is 5.9% which meets the threshold for Tier 2.
African American/Black and Latino/Latinx residents and those who live in high poverty areas have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The County continues to see decreases in deaths across all race and ethnicity groups and has made progress in closing the gaps.
During the July peak, the mortality rate among Latino/Latinx residents was 6 deaths per 100,000 people, four times that of White residents who had a mortality rate of 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people. As of October 11, the mortality rate among Latino/Latinx residents decreased to 1.3 deaths per 100,000 people, twice that of White residents and Asian residents who have a mortality rate of a little less than 1 death per 100,000 people.
During the July peak, the mortality rate among African American/Black residents was 4 deaths per 100,000 people, almost three times that of White residents. In October, the mortality rate among African American/Black residents has decreased to less than 1 death per 100,000 people. African American/Black residents currently have the lowest mortality rate in L.A. County.
The gap between people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty and people living in high-resource communities has narrowed. During the peak, the mortality rate among people living in areas with the fewest resources was 6.5 deaths per 100,000 people, over three times that of people living in high-resource areas. On October 11, the mortality rate among people living in areas with the fewest resources was 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people, less than twice that of people living in high-resource communities. Because this gap has been slow to decrease over the past months, we are watching closely to see if this trend continues.
There are 758 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 28% of these people are in the ICU. The number of daily hospitalizations has been below 1,000 COVID-19 patients for most of September and has remained under 800 daily hospitalizations since mid-September.
“Every day, we are thinking of the many people across our county who are grieving a family member or friend who has passed away from COVID-19. We wish you peace during this difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I want to acknowledge what we, as a community, continue to accomplish together. We have been living the realities of this pandemic for 8 months, and these times have been full of loss and difficulties. Yet we have made progress together. We have slowed the spread of the virus and we have avoided overwhelming our healthcare system as experienced by other communities across the country. We did this, in large part, because so many people took thoughtful actions in their day-to-day lives. As we head into a season with many holidays and as we celebrate our accomplished sport teams, it can be very tempting to relax our diligence. Unfortunately, this would result in more cases making it difficult to move forward in our recovery and leading to unnecessary illness and death. If congregating with others not in your household, please do so only outdoors in places where you can keep six-feet of distance from others and always wearing your face covering.”
As of October 19, a total of 986 schools are open for in-person learning for high-need students; 69% are public schools, 18% are charter schools, and 13% are private schools. Almost 35,000 students and 20,000 staff have returned for this onsite learning.
To date, Public Health has received 110 waiver applications from schools to open for grades TK-2 in-person learning. A total of 87 applications submitted are from private schools, 18 applications are from charter schools, and five applications are from public schools. Waiver approvals have been issued to four schools to date and can be viewed on Public Health’s school waiver page. Once a complete application is submitted, the review process takes about 2 to 3 weeks.
Of the 33 new deaths reported today, 12 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 18 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, and three people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old. Thirty people who died had underlying health conditions including 11 people over the age of 80, 16 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old and three people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old.
Ninety-three 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 6,538 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% among White residents, 14% 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, 33 cases and one death reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Testing results are available for more than 2,913,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive.
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