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Map: Confirmed US COVID-19 Cases Now 3rd Highest In World; 2 New Deaths In LA County

Updated
Published

Note on the data you see when clicking on a bubble: Confirmed cases include presumptive positive cases | Recovered cases outside China are estimates based on local media reports, and may be substantially lower than the true number | Active cases = total confirmed - total recovered - total deaths.


This post is no longer being updated. Here's Sunday's story>>


The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States jumped past those of Iran, Germany and Spain this weekend, making the U.S. the nation with the third highest total in the world at the moment. The number of confirmed cases here now stands at 32,640.

The news comes as the number of confirmed cases in Los Angeles County surged to 351, in part a reflection of increased testing.

As the numbers rise, the county's Department of Public Health has shifted to "a mitigation strategy aimed at slowing disease transmission." It's recommending that providers test people with COVID-19 symptoms only when a positive result would change how a patient is treated or would "inform public health response."

Health officials said the median age of those infected is currently 47.

"I'm going to start trying to present this data so that everyone can understand that the risk is spread across everybody who lives here in L.A. County," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county health director. She stressed that younger people may have a better chance of recovery but are "one of the largest groups of people" testing positive for COVID-19.

The local uptick comes as cases continue to grow in the U.S. and a number of other countries experiencing large-scale outbreaks. The map above shows cumulative confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries and is updated in near real-time throughout the day. Zoom out to see more of the world.

As of this afternoon, here are the total confirmed cases for the 10 countries currently facing the worst outbreaks:

  1. 81,397 China
  2. 59,138 Italy
  3. 32,640 United States
  4. 28,603 Spain
  5. 23,974 Germany
  6. 21,638 Iran
  7. 14,485 France
  8. 8,897 South Korea
  9. 7,014 Switzerland
  10. 5,071 United Kingdom

These numbers are changing rapidly and experts have warned that confirmed cases are far under the actual total of infected individuals. For more detail check the full tracker, which includes death tolls and projections of cases on the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering site. Engineers there are collecting data from:

Our friends on the L.A. Times data desk are tracking cases in California by surveying "numbers released by the dozens of local health agencies across the state." As of this afternoon, the newspaper is reporting California has:

  • 1,536 confirmed cases
  • 28 deaths

[Note: If you hit a paywall on the full tracker, please consider subscribing. They have a $1 for eight weeks special. We don't have a paywall but we do count on member support to run our newsroom.]

In Los Angeles County last night, public health officials announced two new deaths and 59 new cases, bringing the totals for the county to:

  • 351 confirmed cases
  • 4 deaths

County health officials said the two new deaths were both people older than 65 who had underlying health conditions.

On Thursday, state and county officials ordered the vast majority of Californians to stay home and practice social distancing — limiting interactions with other people, washing hands frequently, and staying six feet away from others.

Remember, the goal of social distancing is to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19's spread.

Source: CDC, Drew Harris (Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR)

The more we can slow the rate of infection, the less overwhelmed the hospital system will be.

Here's a look at nine scenarios over six, nine, and 12 months from our friends at ProPublica:

(Courtesy of ProPublica)

And here's the impact on California hospitals:

(Courtesy of ProPublica)

This version of the story originally published at noon.


SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19

We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.


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Newsom Lays Out Rapid Expansion Of Hospital Beds And Housing For Homeless

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Gov. Gavin Newsom is outlining more than $42 million in emergency funding "to expand California’s health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to support California’s response to COVID-19."

In his remarks, he diverged from the message from the Trump Administration about the value of broader testing and he also stressed the need for federal assistance getting medical supplies, something President Trump pushed back on earlier today.

Some key takeaways:

  • About 1,000 hospital beds are coming on line by procuring space in recently closed hospitals. The state is spending $30 million to lease and operate:
    • Seton Medical Center in Daly City.
    • St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles (490 rooms).
    • That follows an agreement to reopen Community Hospital in Long Beach, which has a 158-bed capacity and was scheduled to start accepting transfer patients today.
  • California will have a 2,000-bed capacity in field hospitals.
  • 2,400 hotel rooms have been secured to get homeless people under permanent roofs.
  • The goal is now 51,000 hotel rooms to "begin to get people off the streets, the sidewalks."
  • Apple's Tim Cook will provide 1 million masks for health care providers in California. SpaceX/Tesla's Elon Musk will provide 250,000 masks and 1,000 ventilators.
  • 114,000 people applied for unemployment benefits yesterday (and 135,000 two days ago). That compares to 45,742 people in January.

In an earlier news release, Newsom's office said they'd made substantial requests for medical supplies from the national stockpile and had begun to receive some shipments. At the White House briefing earlier, President Trump and the FEMA director both said local and state officials should seek supplies on the open market.

Newsom also had a harsh message to young people in California who are not heeding social distancing advice, saying if they are still out partying it is "time to grow up."

About an hour before he started speaking, Newsom tweeted about what people are, and are not, allowed to do under the new orders (which have caused confusion).


SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19

We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

Kroger Gives Bonuses To All Hourly Workers

Updated
Published
Customers wait their turn as shoppers exit a grocery store. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

To help grocery workers keep shelves stocked and customers' needs met through the coronavirus outbreak, Kroger, Food 4 Less and Ralphs will give all hourly employees a one-time bonus of $300 for full-timers and $150 for part-timers.

The Kroger Co. made the announcement Saturday.

Additionally, the company announced that it would expand its emergency leave guidelines pertaining to coronavirus. Those will now allow for paid time off for employees who need to self-isolate after developing symptoms.

Kroger is one of the few companies hiring at this time, recently announcing 10,000 new jobs.

Other grocery chains are offering extra cash to workers to compensate for their hard work in recent weeks. The parent company for Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions is giving workers $2 more an hour. Stater Bros., Target and Walmart are also paying workers extra, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19
We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.
We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.


icon
DON'T MISS ANY L.A. CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Get our daily newsletter for the latest on COVID-19 and other top local headlines.


Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


Support our free, independent journalism today. Donate now.

LA Officials Seeking To Reduce Jail Population

Updated
Published
Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail is located in downtown Los Angeles. (Andrew Cullen/LAist)

Los Angeles County officials are taking steps to reduce inmate populations in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in local jails.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey is recommending that medically vulnerable individuals be released while awaiting a court date. Her office is also temporarily halting the filing of new cases for misdemeanors and low-level felonies.

Lacey's office is working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to review a list of 2,000 inmates who have been flagged for potential early release.

“If you release some of the people... should there be an infection in the jail, you’ll be able to isolate those who are infected,” she said.

Inmates charged with violent crimes, including child abuse and domestic violence, will not be considered for release.

“We’ll be looking at auto burglaries, vandalism cases, things of that nature where we think those folks could be released without there being much harm to the community,” she said.

No cases will be dismissed, but some will be adjudicated or postponed.

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19
We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.
We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.


Hotline Calls Are Down At The LA County Department Charged With Keeping Kids Safe

Updated
Published

Los Angeles County — where courts are suspended through April 16 for all non-emergency and non-essential matters — has the largest child welfare system in the country.

Right now, Department of Children and Family Services leaders say they are fully staffed and continuing in-home visits, placements and removals, while also assessing what in-person contact is absolutely necessary. The department is also providing protective gear to staff.

"Much of the work that we do is emergency basis, and that means that we have to appear at the home unannounced," Bobby Cagle, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, says. "When we do that, we try to equip those workers first with the kind of masks, eye protection, gloves and gowns that they need" in the event that they encounter a family member who is, or could be, sick, he says.

HOTLINE CALLS ARE DOWN

(Screenshot from dcfs.lacounty.gov)

Cagle is managing a system of some 9,000 staff who serve about 34,000 children at any given time.

"The work of child protection is a 24-hour a day, seven days a week endeavor across our country," Cagle says. "And just like police protection and fire protection, our services continue throughout the crisis and the social distancing."

But the same isolation that is supposed to keep people healthy could also be detrimental for a child who is being mistreated. Calls to the system's hotline are down and Cagle says that's because schools are closed and teachers and school staff, who normally have an eye out for alleged abuse, aren't seeing kids. So Cagle is calling on the public to watch for signs of abuse and neglect and to call the Child Protection Hotline.


Toll-free within California: (800) 540-4000
Outside of California: (213) 639-4500
TDD [hearing impaired]: (800) 272-6699

The Hotline is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Read the FAQ on changes in the department's due to the coronavirus pandemic


"I very strongly encourage the public to remain vigilant about the safety of children in families," he says. "This is a time of increased stress and we know from the work that we do that this can also cause an uptick in maltreatment of children. And so we want to be very much on the watch for that."

For now, Cagle says he has the staff and equipment he needs to keep going, but that this is just the beginning. Protective gear will need to be replenished and he's expecting that staffing will also drop significantly if this is a long-term pandemic.

"There may be a time where we have to begin to do contact based upon risk to children and families. Taking the most risky ones first," he says. "Thankfully, we're not there at this point."

Q&A: What Opening Up Californians' Access To Health Insurance Means

Updated
Published
A button promotes open enrollment with Covered California at a 2017 news event. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

California health officials are encouraging anyone who lost a job or work hours because of business closures related to the coronavirus to sign up for health insurance. They're extending the enrollment period to June 30.

Our friends at KQED in the Bay put together this quick explainer:

How do I get coverage if I lost my job?

Start with Covered California. If you’ve lost your job and have no income, most likely you will qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for low-income Californians. If you lost hours at work and are earning less money, you may qualify for a subsidy to help you pay for a new plan; if you already have a plan through Covered California, you will likely qualify for additional financial aid.

Even if you didn’t have insurance when you were employed, you can still buy a new plan now. Previously, only people who lost a health plan after losing their job could sign up through the individual marketplace anytime. During the special enrollment period, anyone can sign up.

What if I have a health plan but I miss a payment?

California and most other states have a three-month grace period on paying health premiums. If you miss a monthly payment, your insurer will continue to pay your health care bills. If you miss a second or third payment, your insurer can stop paying claims, but can’t cancel your coverage. You have three months to catch up on your payments.

If I get the coronavirus, will I be facing a big medical bill?

California regulators now require insurers to cover the complete cost of testing for the virus, so no copays for consumers. On the other hand, experts estimate the cost of a hospital stay for coronavirus is about $20,000. If you’re insured, out-of-pocket costs are an estimated $1,300. But if you have a high-deductible plan, which a lot of people do, you may be required to pay the maximum annual out-of-pocket cost, which is $6,000 in California.

Still, Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, points out that’s better than having no insurance:

“We’re hearing stories out of Italy, of hospitals needing to ration care. We’re not hearing stories of people getting enormous hospital bills in the mail and we are going to see those stories here.”

Is this outbreak going to bankrupt the health insurance industry?

Health insurance companies are very concerned about the costs they are facing in this pandemic, says Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. They are required to spend 80% of their revenues on patient care, so they’re operating on slim profit margins. Companies may be able to offset some of the costs of coronavirus treatment because they won’t have to pay for many elective surgeries that have been canceled. But insurers are already looking to Congress and federal officials for financial help, just like the airlines industry.

Will my premiums go up next year?

Probably. It all depends on how many people become severely ill from the virus. If the costs are extreme and insurers see their financial reserves dwindle, they are allowed to raise premiums the following year to refill them.

What could this mean for the political future of the Affordable Care Act?

While public sentiment toward the health law was generally low in the early years, that changed when Republicans tried to repeal it in 2017. Millions of Americans had come to depend on its protections, and experts believe millions more will come to benefit from it this year.

“Americans are historically ambivalent about government,” said Jonathan Oberlander, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “In times of desperation, they’re not afraid to embrace high doses of government intervention.”

Similarly, Oberlander believes the Supreme Court will be very unlikely to strike down the law in the case currently before it. “It is unimaginable to me that the court will rule that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and throw out the law in the middle of this pandemic,” he said. “That would devastate the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, and the human toll of that decision would be awful.”

Coronavirus Task Force: California, Other States Should Purchase Medical Supplies On The Open Market

Updated
Published
President Donald Trump listens to Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speak during a briefing at the White House on March 21, 2020. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Donald Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing to share updates on the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key takeaways from the remarks:

STATES, COUNTIES AND CITIES SHOULDN'T RELY ON FEDERAL OFFICIALS FOR SUPPLIES

  • President Trump said that if California Gov. Gavin Newsom or other governors can order masks, gowns, or other supplies faster than the federal government, they should do so. He also noted that medical ships were going to be sent to some areas, as well as cruise liners likely being sent to both California and New York.
  • Local governments should try to purchase medical supplies on the open market before turning to FEMA, according to FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor. President Trump said that, when the federal government finds that it's competing in a bid for coronavirus supplies with states, it drops out of the bidding to allow the states to purchase those supplies directly.

TESTING UPDATE

  • More than 195,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted so far, Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said. That number also doesn't include those conducted at hospital labs.
  • Members of the task force emphasized that people who aren't showing symptoms should not be tested. The task force's Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that getting tested unnecessarily can use up needed medical supplies like masks and gowns. He added that people should put off elective procedures to help preserve the availability of medical equipment like ventilators.

THE HEALTH OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

  • Vice President Pence said the member of his staff who has COVID-19 is doing well and that this person had no direct contact with him or the president. However, Pence said that he and his wife will be tested later Saturday out of an abundance of caution.
  • The president said that he just took a second coronavirus test, but that he is feeling well.

COMING NEXT


SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19

We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.

'Nobody Knows What The Hell To Do.' Stay At Home Orders Confuse

Updated
Published
The empty Hollywood and Highland mall stairs on the first day of "Safer at Home" orders in L.A. (Augustin Paullier /Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom's order to Californians was broad. It was not specific. Even Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, a Republican from Lake Elsinore, is confused.

"Nobody knows what the hell to do and are afraid that law enforcement are going to come out and arrest them."

Melendez compared the more detailed list of exempted activity issued by Los Angeles County with the order put out by the governor.

"That's less clear. And I know it's less clear because I have people who were contacting me asking: 'What does this mean?' 'Can I go to work?' " she said, speaking from her home office.

In a real-time illustration of that uncertainty, Melendez said that there were workers at her home repairing a leak in her bathroom.

"I told my husband to text and ask if they're still coming today and they said construction is considered essential business," she said. But she also said she received a message from a constituent telling her that his father, an electrician, had been ordered to stay home.

READ MORE:

Morning Briefing: Recapping Day One of 'Safer At Home. How You Doin'?

Updated
Published

During the first day of California’s “stay at home” mandate, Angelenos stared deep into the soul of our reality for the next four weeks (at least). It was… weird.

The good news? The government appears to be keeping pace — or trying to — with the community’s concerns.

Payments on student loans are being suspended without penalties, and co-pays for the COVID-19 test will be waived. Tax day isn’t until July 15 (but you can file early if you want, whoever you people are). And many public and private organizations are offering funds, food and more to those who have been hit hardest by the virus.

Day 1 is in the books. Now, to make sure you’re caught up...

Here’s what happened in the past 24 hours:

"All the street vendors that usually bring Boyle Heights sidewalks to life are gone.”


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And here’s some light reading for the weekend — a few of L.A.’s unsung restaurants, and some old-fashioned noshing at one of our most famous haunts.

Your moment of Zen:

Social distancing at sea. (At least, we're pretty sure they're six feet apart.) Surfers ride a wave at Venice Beach on the first day L.A. County residents were under "safer at home" orders.

(Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

Help us cover your community:

  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything >>
  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know >>

The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft.