Public Health Urges Residents to Have a Safe Halloween
Public Health Reports 15 New Deaths and 1,326 New Positive Cases of COVID-19
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 15 new deaths and 1,326 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. To date, Public Health has identified 307,618 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,071 deaths. There are 783 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 28% of these people are in the ICU.
The scariest thing residents can do tonight for Halloween is gather with others outside of your household to celebrate. Carnivals, parties, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not safe this year and are not permitted under the Health Officer Order. Public Health does not recommend trick-or-treating and trunk or treating this year, as participating in these activities increases the risk of exposure to the virus through communal food handling, crowding and mixing with non-household individuals. Safer options include participating in a virtual party, attending a drive-in event, driving or walking around your neighborhood to see decorated houses, holding a scavenger hunt for treats at home, or attending a special Halloween drive-in movie.
Residents that gather with up to two other households, should do so only outdoors, wearing face coverings, and keeping six feet of distance the entire time.
It is critically important that residents not attend any private gatherings or leave their home if they are experiencing symptoms of illness, have tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have been exposed or likely have been exposed to someone who is positive.
“Our hearts go out to all of those mourning the passing of a loved one, we wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Decisions we each make tonight could haunt us and the county for many weeks. It’s not just about who might get infected on Halloween as a result of an ill-advised party, but also about the people that will come in contact with that person in the days to follow. The stakes are high since our case numbers have already been steadily increasing for the past 2 weeks; we can’t really afford to repeat what we went through after the July 4th holiday when we saw surges in cases followed by alarming increases in hospitalizations and deaths. Halloween is an enjoyable holiday for many of us, and it still can be this year. Treat yourself and your family to a fun, yet safe, night without gathering with others. The traditional ways to celebrate Halloween are simply too risky this year and are not safe while we have widespread community transmission in our county. We must continue to work together to limit transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19; doing so will save lives.”
Of the 14 new deaths reported today (not including Long Beach or Pasadena), five people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, seven people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach. Of the 14 deaths reported today, all but one person who died had an underlying health condition.
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 6,663 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, 35 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Testing results are available for more than 3,100,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive.
The best way to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 is to put six feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household, and wear a face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Face coverings protect other people in case you are infected and do not know it, as COVID-19 can spread to others even if someone does not feel sick. Please remember to also wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Isolating when you are positive for COVID-19 and quarantining if you have been exposed to someone who is positive are also important tools in preventing transmission of the virus.
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.