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LA County Coronavirus Positivity Rate Still Too High To Reopen Faster

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Los Angeles County's coronavirus task force delivered its daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, including details on the county's goal of reopening by July 4, antibody tests, and more. Read highlights below or watch the full video above.

REOPENING L.A. COUNTY BY JULY 4

"I think it's always helpful for all of us to have a target date in mind — we've been saying that from the beginning," L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "It's much more reassuring to hear that we're going to aim for that July 4th date."

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Ferrer said that L.A. County has yet to qualify to move further into the second stage of reopening businesses, as defined by the state. The state threshold for a testing positivity rate is 8% for more than a week; the county has just recently gotten down to a 9% rate, Ferrer said.

"I think reopening has proven to be a lot harder than we may have envisioned, and as we are all making major adjustments to our businesses and our day-to-day lives that we thought we'd never need to make, many of us may be experiencing fear, frustration, anxiety, and depression," Ferrer said.

She noted concerns about safety for those returning to work, and encouraged people to talk to their employers or call the county's mental health hotline.

The county will have results later this week on antibody test results for the county, potentially as early as Wednesday, Ferrer said.

When asked about the County Economic Resilience Task Force's goal of reopening by July 4, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said any decisions made will be driven by public health and data.

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LATEST L.A. COUNTY CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS

In the last day, 76 people have died from COVID-19 in L.A. County, Ferrer said, bringing the county's total to 1,913.

The age breakdown within those new deaths:

  • Over 65: 52, 48 of whom had underlying health conditions
  • 41-65: 19, 14 of whom had underlying health conditions
  • 18-40: 2, both of whom had underlying health conditions

There was 1 death reported by the city of Long Beach and 2 by the city of Pasadena, which aren't included in these figures.
Of those who have died, 92% had underlying health conditions. Ferrer encouraged those with underlying conditions to stay home, even as the county starts to reopen.

More than 358,000 test results have been reported to the county, with a 9% positivity rate.

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At the height of the pandemic, positivity rates were between 13 and 15%, Ferrer said. There has been a steady decline over the last couple of weeks.

There were 1,183 new cases. Ferrer noted that numbers are often higher Tuesdays and Wednesday due to catching up on the count from the weekend. L.A. County's total cases are now 39,573, including 1,305 reported by Long Beach, and 702 reported by Pasadena, who have their own independent city health departments.

There have been 300 confirmed cases among the homeless in the county, half of which occurred among those in shelters. Those who were in shelters have been isolated. The majority of those positive in shelters were at the Union Rescue Mission, where everyone was tested.

There are 5,914 COVID-19 positive people who were at some point hospitalized during their illness, 15% of the positive cases. That includes 1,549 people currently hospitalized, 27% of whom are in the ICU, 19% on ventilators. There continue to be slight decreases in the number hospitalized, Ferrer said.

There are 10,097 confirmed cases in institutional settings, Ferrer said, including 6,596 residents and 3,501 staff. There have been 996 deaths among those living in institutional settings — that makes up 52% of the county's deaths, the vast majority of whom lived in skilled nursing facilities.

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There have been 641 confirmed cases in county jails — 497 among the incarcerated, 144 among staff. Among the incarcerated, the sheriff's office reports: 266 positives among; 231 recovered, 346 in isolation, and 5,217 quarantined.

There are 176 cases in the state prison; 126 are among the incarcerated, 50 are among staff.

There are 695 cases in the federal prison facilities; 681 are among people incarcerated, 14 among staff. The vast majority of these cases are at Terminal Island.

There are 20 cases in juvenile facilities; 8 among the youth, 12 among staff.

Two deaths previously reported by the county were since found to be outside the county's jurisdiction, Ferrer said.

Supervisor Solis encouraged people with symptoms, who are in vulnerable groups, or who are essential workers to be tested.

L.A. COUNTY'S CORONAVIRUS RACIAL BREAKDOWN

Ferrer gave this breakdown for the 1,722 who have died in the county for whom race/ethnicity has been identified:

  • 39% Latino/Latinx
  • 29% White
  • 18% Asian
  • 12% African-American
  • 1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
  • 1% Other

Solis gave the latest information on COVID-19 cases and deaths by race/ethnicity this year in L.A. County (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena):

  • Hispanic/Latino: 13,242 cases, 690 deaths
  • White: 4,884 cases, 514 deaths
  • Asian: 2,554 cases, 313 deaths
  • Black: 1,664 cases, 218 deaths
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 261 cases, 15 deaths
  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 28 cases, 2 deaths
  • Other: 1,598 cases, 20 deaths
  • Under investigation: 13,335 cases, 18 deaths

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