COVID-19 Cases Top 176K In LA County; 3 More Workplaces Shut Down After 'Significant Outbreaks'
Los Angeles County's coronavirus task force delivered its daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read highlights below or watch the full video above.
Los Angeles County officials reported 2,039 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 176,028 cases countywide. In total, 7,479 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 1,897 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 17 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 4,375 people.
So far, 92% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, she said.
Ferrer took a moment at today’s media briefing to note that it’s been 145 days since the a public health emergency was declared in the county. And though we initially "bent the curve," an increase in infections and cases means "additional rollbacks or closures must remain on the table," she said.
"... at this stage in the pandemic, we believe we have a lot of tools available that, if fully utilized should allow us to slow the spread without going back to the more stringent safer-at-home orders that were in place earlier in the pandemic."
"We're not where we need to be," she said.
THREE MORE WORKPLACES CLOSED
County health officials are investigating "significant outbreaks" among employees at three workplaces. More than 40 people have been infected at each site, Ferrer said, and all three have been shut down.
"We were not notified as we're required to be notified once they had their three cases," she said.
The workplaces include Golden Foods and Mission Foods — as in Mission tortillas. Ferrer said the full number of cases at each site will be added to the county's running list of workplace outbreaks, which can be viewed here.
CONTACT TRACING INCENTIVE
The county is lanching a pilot program to see if a $20 gift certificate can incentivize more people to participate in contact tracing interviews with public health workers.
Ferrer said the program will run for three weeks and be assessed.
"We're hopeful that it will work," she said. "We really respect that people have to give us an hour of their time."
NEW THREE C'S
Ferrer also outlined a new version of the "three C's" county health officials had been sharing. Earlier, those three C's were things to avoid: crowded places, confined spaces and close contact with people outside your immediate household.
The county's new C's are being encouraged: "compliance, containment and collaboration," she said.
Compliance means individuals and businesses following the county's health guidelines on face coverings, social distancing, disinfecting and more.
Containment of the virus can be achieved "through testing, particularly in the hardest hit communities, to identify those who are who may be positive," Ferrer said.
"We know that our brown and Black neighbors, and those in poor communities are bearing the brunt of this virus," she said. "They are infected at a higher rate, and they see the worst outcomes. Adequate testing [and] appropriate testing can help us overcome this."
Testing capacity has increased by more than 65% in recent weeks, she said.
BY THE NUMBERS
More than 1,649,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 and had their results reported to L.A. county health officials. Of those tests, 10% have been positive.
There are currently 2,017 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those individuals, 29% are in the ICU, with 18% on ventilators.
Ferrer also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 4,083 of the victims. According to the latest available information:
- 48% Latino / Latina [48.6% of county residents]
- 11% African American [9% of county residents]
- 25% White [26.1% of county residents]
- 15% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
- Less than 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander [0.4% of county residents]
- 1% identified as belonging to another race or ethnicity
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