Los Angeles County Announces 18 New Deaths Related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 18 new deaths and 440 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Thirteen people who died were over the age of 65; four people who died were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 to 40 years old. Fifteen people had underlying health conditions including 13 people over the age of 65 and two people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old.

To date, Public Health has identified 19,528 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 913 deaths. Ninety-three percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 837 people (98 percent of the cases); 37% of deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 28% among White residents, 18% among Asian residents, 14% among African American residents, 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.  African Americans continue to have the highest rate of death for COVID-19 when compared to other groups at 13 deaths per 100,000 people.  The mortality rate for Latinx is 9.5; for Asians, the rate is 7.5; and for Whites, the rate is 5.5.  Individuals living in lower-income communities are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than individuals living in wealthier communities, with the death rate of 16.5 deaths per 100,000 people in communities where 30% to 100% of residents are living in poverty compared to the death rate of 5.3 per 100,000 people in communities where less than 10% of residents are living in poverty.  Upon further investigation, 19 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents. As of today, 4,380 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (23% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for over 117,000 individuals and 14% of people testing positive.

“The most difficult part of the COVID-19 pandemic is losing people to the virus. To all of you who have lost loved ones, we are deeply sorry,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As we have more information about who is dying, we are reminded that the work ahead requires that we address issues of disproportionality that result in higher rates of death among African Americans, Latinx and Asians as well as residents living in poverty.  Ensuring access to testing, early treatment and care, and economic support among those communities at higher risk of devastating outcomes associated with COVID-19, is essential. "

Public Health issued a new Health Officer Order  for all licensed congregate healthcare facilities that includes measures intended to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in these facilities and to protect vulnerable residents, as well as staff.  The measures include restricting all visitors, suspending all communal dining and activities to ensure physical distancing, and testing for all employees and residents. Staff will be required to wear surgical masks at all times and personal protective equipment when appropriate. Residents will also need to wear surgical masks or cloth face coverings when they are outside of their personal room.

Public Health reminds everyone that if you are ill, even with mild symptoms, please self- isolate at home for 7 days and until you are fever and symptom free for 72 hours. If you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is presumed to be infected with COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days from your last contact with that individual. Individuals who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions may be at higher risk of serious illness and should contact their doctor as soon as they are sick. The best protection against COVID-19 is to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolate if you are sick, practice physical distancing (especially by staying at home) and wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household.

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