COVID-19 Deaths Increase as L.A. County Continues to Break COVID-19 Hospitalizations Record
40 New Deaths and 5,987 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirms the highest daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. Currently, there are 2,439 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing yesterday’s high of 2,316 people.
Of the 2,439 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 24% of these people are in the ICU. The average daily number of people hospitalized has increased 94% in just two weeks.
Today, Public Health has confirmed 40 new deaths and 5,987 new cases of COVID-19. Since early November, average daily cases have increased by 225%, and in the past week and a half we have seen this average jump to over 5,300 cases each day.
The County’s daily test positivity rate has also increased significantly and now is 13.0%. The test positivity rate was 3.9% on November 1.
Increased COVID-19 transmission has a cascading impact in populations that are of particular concern. Weekly cases among healthcare workers increased 71% since the first week of November. Weekly new outbreaks at worksites increased 172% since early November. Weekly new cases among people who are residing in skilled nursing facilities increased 89% since early November. Cases at schools, both among staff and students, increased 224% since early November.
Along with the steep acceleration of COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations, the County is experiencing increases in people passing away from COVID-19. Since November 9, average daily deaths have increased 92%. This past week, average daily COVID-19 deaths climbed to 38.
To date, Public Health identified 414,185 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,740 deaths. Upon further investigation, 198 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
“These numbers are devasting, and our deepest condolences go out to everyone who is mourning a loved one or friend who has passed away from COVID-19. We are so sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We are seeing terrifying increases and numbers in L.A. County that can only be turned around if everyone – businesses and individuals – carefully use the tools we have to slow the spread: wearing a face covering, distancing, staying away from crowds and gatherings, and following all the business protocols to protect workers and customers. There are no activities where people shouldn’t be wearing a face covering if they are outside their home except for swimming. Everywhere people go they should be able to keep at least 6 feet away from others and there should be no crowding. This virus is relentless. It will continue to be relentless until we can vaccinate the millions of residents and workers calling L.A. County home. And while there is a bright light at the end of this very dark tunnel, we are not there yet. We are now at the worst point we have experienced thus far in this pandemic, and now is the time to take every single precaution to protect ourselves and others. Requirements and restrictions work in slowing the spread of the virus. Please commit today and through the next few months to being the solution to this terrible pandemic.”
As cases surge, the County is experiencing higher rates of disproportionality. The gaps between race and ethnicity groups that closed in September have now dramatically widened, particularly for Latino/Latinx residents compared to other groups, though all groups are experiencing increases.
Latino/Latinx residents are now experiencing a 7-day cumulative rate of 270 new cases per 100,000 people. This is over twice that of White residents, the group with the second highest case rate of about 125 cases per 100,000 people per day. African American/Black residents are experiencing about 112 new cases per 100,000 people and Asian residents experience around 80 new cases per 100,000 people.
African American/Black and Latino/Latinx residents are also experiencing an alarming increase in deaths. The death rate among Latino/Latinx residents has increased from 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 3 deaths per 100,000 people. The death rate for African American/Black residents has increased from less than 1 death per 100,000 people to nearly 1.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
We continue to see a high mortality rate among people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty, with three times the death rate compared to people living in the lowest levels of poverty.
The root causes that contribute to disproportionality have not disappeared. With the increases, we need to double down on strategies that can right now make a difference. Protections must be the priority of employers for essential workers at manufacturing and food processing plants, at grocery and retail stores, and those on the frontlines keeping health care facilities open and transportation and energy systems working. Since we have increased our understanding on how to protect workers, the way forward is clear: everyone needs to follow the rules and do the right thing.
As transmission increases in L.A. County, our Community Health Worker Outreach Initiative remains a vital part of our outreach to highly impacted communities. The Initiative coordinates and mobilizes community health workers across the county to conduct healing-informed, grassroots community outreach. Community health workers provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. As of November 29, 240 Community Health Workers completed over 14,000 total outreaches that include general COVID-19 safety messaging, information on the COVID-19 Safety Compliance Certification Program, and messaging developed for faith communities.
Of the 40 new deaths reported today, 22 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, eight people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, six 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 17 people over the age of 80 years old, six people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, and five people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old. Two deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach.
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 7,305 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% 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.
Testing results are available for nearly 3,780,000 individuals with 10% 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.