Public Health to Update Health Officer Order as COVID-19 Transmission Surges and Hospitalizations Accelerate
Public Health Reports 36 New Deaths and 3,944 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
As COVID-19 cases surge and hospitalizations continue to increase, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified with an effective date of Friday, November 20 to reduce the possibility for crowding and reduce the potential for exposures in settings where people are not always wearing their face coverings in an effort to prevent more cases, increased hospitalizations and more deaths.
On Friday, the following will go into effect:
- Private outdoor gatherings may only include 15 people who are from no more than 3 households, including the host household.
- The number of patrons at outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries will be limited to 50% maximum outdoor capacity. Restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments must close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. This is not a curfew, but rather restrictions on operating hours. As permitted to operate, businesses can still offer pick-up and delivery services outside of these hours.
- The number of customers at cardrooms, outdoor mini-golf, go-karts and batting cages will be limited to 50% maximum outdoor capacity.
- Non-essential businesses permitted to operate indoors – including retail stores, offices, personal care services – will be limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy allowed.
- Services at personal care establishments may only be provided by appointment to customers wearing face coverings by staff wearing face coverings.
- Services that require either the customer or the staff to remove their face covering, such as facials and shaves, are not permitted.
- Food and drinks cannot be served at these establishments to customers.
In addition, 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, outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be prohibited and these businesses will only be able to offer pick-up and delivery services.
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 only allow essential and emergency workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes. In addition, a 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew would be mandated, with essential workers exempt.
Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 36 new deaths and 3,944 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 348,336 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,335 deaths. Upon further investigation, 131 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Public Health cautions, that if this County surge continues at the current rate of increase, by December 6, less than three weeks from today, daily new cases could reach 4,000.
There are 1,188 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 27% of these people are in the ICU. On November 1, the average daily number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 was 791.
Testing results are available for more than 3,440,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive. The County’s test positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that come back positive, has increased from an average of about 5.1% on November 8 to about 7.1% today. For comparison, the test positivity rate was 3.9% on November 1.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who is experiencing the sorrow of losing a loved one or friend to COVID-19. We wish you comfort and healing during this very difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “COVID-19 is relentless, and we have seen other communities and states who have few or no restrictions see devastating numbers of people becoming seriously ill and passing away. In Utah, the current case rate is currently over 1,200 per 100,000 people. In Indiana, the rate is 1,100 per 100,000 people. In California, the rate is around 250 per 100,000 people. I think we should each ask ourselves and those we care about to commit to making those changes that we know prevent a great deal of suffering and death from COVID-19. Change any plans for indoor gatherings that involve people not in your households. Avoid all activities where there will be crowds and where it is hard to maintain a distance of six feet from others. Wear face coverings inside and outside if you are with people who are older or who have underlying health conditions. And make sure to follow all the rules at businesses, worksites and retail establishments.”
The best way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to stay home and celebrate with people who live in your household. Connect with friends and family you don’t live with using all of the technology that allows us to see and hear each other from afar. If you do choose to gather, closely follow the guidance for private gatherings. Gather outdoors with no more than two other households, and no more than 15 people; wear face coverings unless eating or drinking and stay at least 6 feet apart. Limit the gathering to no more than two hours and do not share food or utensils.
While we made progress narrowing the gaps, as cases surge, we are beginning to see some higher rates of disproportionality. After the July surge through mid-September, we saw the gap between Latino/Latinx residents and other residents begin to close. At its lowest point, Latino/Latinx residents had case rates that were less than two times that of White residents. However, since mid-September, Latino/Latinx residents are experiencing case rates that are about two times that of White and African American/Black residents. Asian residents continue to have the lowest case rates.
During the July and August peak, the rates of hospitalization among Latino/Latinx residents was 30 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, three times that of White residents. This gap slowly closed from July through mid-September, when the hospitalization rate for Latino/Latinx residents fell to about 8 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, two times the rate of hospitalization for White residents. As of November 7, Latino/Latinx residents are now back up to almost 10.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, over two times the rate of White residents at 3.8 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.
We are seeing a downward trend in deaths across racial and ethnic groups, which has also brought a closing of the gap between the highest-income areas and the lowest income areas. On November 8, the death rate for the lowest income areas was 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people, slightly more than two times that of the highest income areas.
It is encouraging to see the downward trends on deaths and a closing of this gap; at the same time, we know that we are experiencing another surge in cases in the County, are aware that this could end up having devastating impacts on death rates, and worry that once again African American/Black and Latino/Latinx residents will be at highest risk.
Of the 36 new deaths reported today, 16 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, nine people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, eight 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-eight people who died had underlying health conditions including 12 people over the age of 80, 9 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, seven 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 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 6,920 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.
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.