L.A. County Sees Increase in Daily COVID-19 Cases as COVID-19 Deaths Reach 7,000 People and Cumulative Cases Surpass 300,000

8 New Deaths and 861 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has reached the grim milestone of 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 300,614 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County.

Today, Public Health has confirmed 8 new deaths and 861 new cases of COVID-19.  The number of new cases and deaths reflects a reporting lag over the weekend.

Last week, the department experienced reporting system issues, first seeing low case numbers followed by high case numbers. Because of differences in test processing times and reporting lags, the new cases we announce daily are likely collected over several days and sometimes include backlogs of test results.  To understand community spread, the department also tracks cases using the episode date associated with each case record. The episode date is usually the date the test was taken.

The numbers by episode date confirm an increase in cases across L.A. County.

Since the beginning of October, cases have increased from around 940 new cases per day to, as of last week, almost 1,200 new cases per day. This increase, while not as steep as seen in July, is cause for concern.

There are 767 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 29% of these people are in the ICU.  Public Health notes children of all ages have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and even though the likelihood of hospitalization among children remains very low across all age groups, there was a gradual upward trend in hospitalizations among all age groups from April through mid-September. The largest increases were among children ages 12 through 17 years old that occurred in late August and mid-September, likely a result of the summer’s spike in cases.

“Today marks another tragic milestone as 7,000 L.A. County residents have passed away from COVID-19. We report these numbers each day understanding how many people across our community are grieving someone who has passed away from COVID-19. To all of you, we send our deepest sympathies,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “This pandemic has forced so many to sacrifice so much this year, and we recognize the frustration and disappointment with restrictions on large gatherings, celebrations and events. For now, it is simply not safe to celebrate the way we usually do.  Being close to others not in our household, carries with it a lot of risk for transmitting COVID-19, so it remains necessary to modify activities to be as safe as possible. So many businesses have done their very best to open in ways that reduce exposure to the virus for customers and staff. Schools are carefully creating environments that allow for as much safety as possible for on-site support, and residents continue to take to heart our personal, individual responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19. We thank you for your diligence since we need to continue using every tool we have to slow the spread of the virus.”

Public Health advises residents to celebrate Halloween as safely as possible. Trick-or-treating and trunk or treating are not safe during a pandemic, and we strongly recommend that you not participate in these activities since they carry the risk of increased exposure to the virus through crowding, mixing with non-household individuals, and communal food handling. Instead, participate in a virtual party, take a walk (socially distanced and masked) or a drive around your neighborhood to see decorated houses, hold a scavenger hunt for your children at your home where they can find their treats, or attend a special Halloween drive-in movie.  Parties, haunted houses, carnivals, and other larger gatherings are not safe this Halloween and are not permitted under the Health Officer Order.

Public Health has identified 1,979 cases among people experiencing homelessness. Since the July spike in cases, we have seen case numbers stabilize among people experiencing homelessness. On average, we have reported about 40 to 50 cases per week among people experiencing homelessness since the end of August.  To date, 47 people experiencing homelessness have passed away from COVID-19. Of the people experiencing homelessness who passed away, 23 were sheltered, 14 were unsheltered, and for 10 people who passed away, their sheltered status was unknown.  To date, a total of 216 cases of COVID-19 occurred among shelter staff and a total of two shelter staff have passed away due to COVID-19.  Because people experiencing homelessness are likely to have underlying conditions that make them more susceptible to negative COVID-19 outcomes, we continue working with partner organizations to address their unique needs and participate in efforts to reduce virus transmission.

Of the eight new deaths reported today, four people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, three people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64 years old. Six people who died had underlying health conditions including three people over the age of 80, two people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, and one person 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 6,594 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, seven cases and one death reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.

Testing results are available for nearly 3,020,000 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.