Public Health Reports 35 New Deaths and 4,272 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
COVID-19 Transmission is Alarmingly High in L.A. County
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 35 new deaths and 4,272 new cases of COVID-19. COVID-19 transmission is alarmingly high in L.A. County. Over the last three days, there have been a total of 13,247 new cases reported; a 3-day average of 4,415 daily new cases.
The County’s daily test positivity rate has also increased significantly and now is 7.3%. The test positivity rate was 3.9% on November 1.
There are 1,298 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 27% of these people are in the ICU. This is a 78% increase from a month ago when daily hospitalizations were 730. The last time the County saw numbers this high at our hospitals was in August.
Starting tonight, the following safeguards and restrictions will go into effect across L.A. County:
- For non-essential businesses permitted to operate indoors—including retail stores, offices, personal care services—occupancy will be limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy allowed.
- The number of patrons at outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries will be limited to 50% of maximum outdoor capacity.
- The number customers at cardrooms, outdoor mini-golf, go-karts and batting cages will be limited to 50% of maximum outdoor capacity.
- Services at personal care establishments may only be provided by appointment to customers wearing face coverings by staff wearing face coverings.
- Starting tonight, restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments must close for in customer service between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. – all these sites can be open for take-out, delivery, and pick up.
- Gatherings may only happen outdoors and include 15 people who are members of no more than 3 households.
Yesterday, the State issued a Health Officer Order with additional restrictions effective tomorrow, November 21 until December 21 that also apply to all county residents. This includes closing not just restaurants, breweries, wineries, and non-essential retail at 10:00 pm, but closing all non-essential businesses between 10:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. for in-person customer service. This includes card rooms, entertainment venues and activities, and sporting events. Delivery, take-out, and pick-up is still allowed.
Everyone in California must adhere to the State’s new Health Officer Order. Counties may be more restrictive than State mandates, but not less restrictive.
The Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified to align the closing Orders with the State’s Health Officer Order; this includes adopting the same hours of 10:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. for restricted operations.
As a reminder, the County has established thresholds for additional actions if cases and/or hospitalizations continue to increase.
If the five-day average of cases is 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day, dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be prohibited and these businesses will only be able to offer pick-up and delivery.
If the five-day average of cases is 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a Safer at Home Order will be mandated for three weeks. The Order would offer additional restrictions while allowing essential and emergency workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes.
To date, Public Health identified 357,451 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,396 deaths.
“Our hearts go out to all of those grieving the loss of someone they love to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “The increases we are seeing now are a result of the actions we took two weeks ago. The time to act is now so in two to three weeks, we will not continue to experience even higher case counts, more people dying from COVID-19, and our health care system seriously stressed. Please stay home as much as possible with those in your household. Please cancel non-essential travel out of the state or out of country. Modify your Thanksgiving plans. The safest way to celebrate is with your immediate household. If your household will be joined by two other households, hold your gathering outdoors with physical distance and face coverings. And please continue to wear your face covering properly over your nose and mouth whenever you are around others.”
Every sector that is open across the county has experienced cases and outbreaks among those working or receiving services. This happens because wherever individuals are in contact with others, there can be transmission of the virus, even by asymptomatic people. Full adherence to the Public Health directives allows for significant containment of transmission at each site. Schools are no different from other sectors that have re-opened; people providing or receiving services at the school may test positive for the virus. Public Health specialists work closely with every school that has a positive case to implement an established outbreak management plan that reduces spread of the virus across the school community; to date, these efforts have been fairly effective.
As of Thursday, November 19, there are over 1,750 schools open throughout L.A. County serving students with high need and 168 schools with waiver approvals serving students in grades TK-2. There are nearly 96,000 students receiving services provided by about 36,000 staff on site at schools. To date, 116 students and 299 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 across 286 school sites; 0.1% of students and 1% of staff receiving or providing services at schools have tested positive. The majority of school sites had only 1 or 2 cases, with little or no transmission at the school. There are 16 schools that experienced small outbreaks where 3 or 4 people tested positive. One additional school has an outbreak with 12 people testing positive; all cases are among individuals who traveled together to play in a baseball competition in Arizona. Public Health will continue to partner with L.A. County Office of Education to provide support for schools that are re-opening.
Of the 35 new deaths reported today, 15 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 11 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, five 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. Twenty-four people who died had underlying health conditions including 10 people over the age of 80 years old, 10 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, three people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and one person between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and one death was reported by the City of Pasadena.
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 6,989 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, 9% 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, 53 cases and two deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Testing results are available for more than 3,500,000 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.