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SUNDAY’S UPDATE: August 9, 2020
Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 10 additional deaths and 1,789 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The latest figures do not include a backlog from the state that has been disclosed recently. Those backlog numbers are expected to be added to the totals over upcoming days. The virus continues to impact the county’s younger residents, with 69% of the new cases reported Sunday occurring in people under age 50.
SATURDAY’S UPDATE: August 8, 2020
Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 51 additional deaths and 2,645 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
The county totals stand at 206,761 cases and 4,967 deaths.
Officials said while the latest numbers are high, hospitalizations continue to decline. There were 1,610 confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized; 31% are confirmed cases in the ICU.
FRIDAY’S UPDATE: August 7, 2020
Los Angeles County public health officials on Friday confirmed an additional 53 deaths and 3,116 new COVID-19 cases.
Officials noted that reported case numbers may not be accurately reflected as a glitch as led to a backlog of between 250,000 and 300,000 unprocessed health records across California, many of them test results.
The issue has been fixed, but working through the backlog is expected to take 24 to 48 hours, officials say.
However, other key indicators that track the county’s coronavirus status, such as hospitalizations and deaths, are not affected by the reporting issue.
There are currently 1,680 individuals hospitalized with the virus, which officials say shows a downward trend in the number of daily hospitalizations. Those figures are compared to last week, when the county reported more than 2,000 hospitalizations a day.
THURSDAY’S UPDATE: August 6, 2020
The city of Los Angeles is working to add more small testing sites throughout the city. Mayor Eric Garcetti says the latest effort is a partnership with the testing company Curative to add small kiosks to local neighborhoods, which will make the testing experience almost like using a self-serve vending machine. The company is running a test program with kiosks in Berkeley right now. Another plan to add testing will be through mobile vans that will drive around the city to provide testing services.
In the meantime, LA County has passed the milestone of 200,000 cases and is nearing 5,000 deaths. The county reported 3,290 new cases on Thursday and 48 new deaths. Some of those new cases are the result of a backlog of results from one lab. Nearly 1.86 million people have been tested in LA County with a 10% positivity rate.
The county has opened thousands of investigations into businesses and others violating health protocols and closure orders, and acted to shut down 27 bars and restaurants as well as 76 other businesses like nail salons and gyms.
WEDNESDAY’S UPDATE: August 5, 2020
Disturbed by reports of a large party at a mansion in the hills, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new measure designed to crack down on party houses and other venues that violate health orders.
If a large party is held at a home or business in violation of health orders, the Department of Water and Power will be authorized to shut off utility service at the property, Garcetti said.
The shutdown will take place after police verify a large, illegal party is being held. The shutdown process can take up to 48 hours.
“These large house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the hills,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti specified the orders were not intended to target small gatherings in homes.
“These are focused on the people determined to break the rules, posing significant public dangers and a threat to all of us” Garcetti said.
The mayor made the announcement as he also said there have been more than 1 million coronavirus tests conducted in the city of Los Angeles, and 1.8 million in the county. The positivity rate on those tests is about 10% in the county and 7.1% in the city. Overall, he said, the city is seeing a decline in cases and hospitalizations since the mid-July peak.
TUESDAY’S UPDATE: August 4, 2020
L.A. County’s COVID-19 case count has been underreported due to a state technical problem, but the issue has not impacted data on hospitalizations, which county officials said continues to decrease.
A team is now working on contacting 81 labs to get coronavirus test results from July 26 to the present to obtain the correct number of positive cases during that time period. Officials said they are implementing a system for labs to report positive test results to the department “immediately” to ensure a correct count and help to contact trace.
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s top health official, said Tuesday a technical problem has caused a lag in California’s tally of coronavirus test results.
“This issue has undercounted the County’s positive cases and affects the number of COVID-19 cases reported each day and our contact tracing efforts,” a statement from L.A. County’s Department of Public Health said.
Officials added the lag should not delay lab results for patients since test results are reported directly to providers and hospitals.
“Public Health has noted issues with the State electronic lab reporting system for about two weeks,” the county said. “Once the data reporting issues are fixed, the number of cases is expected to increase.”
Hospitalization data has not been impacted by the technical problem, county officials said. Confirmed cases in the hospital is at 1,757, and 31% of those are in the ICU. Last week, daily hospitalizations were more than 2,000 patients last week.
“Hospitalization data for Los Angeles County still shows a decrease, and we continue to be cautiously optimistic that our efforts over the past few weeks may be starting to slow the spread,” Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
MONDAY’S UPDATE: August 3, 2020
After a disturbing surge in coronavirus cases in mid-July, LA County is starting to see numbers go back down slightly, officials said Monday. The county’s overall case rate is still higher than it was at the start of July and still high enough to remain on the state watchlist – but it’s not as bad as it was about two weeks ago, county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.
The county started July with an average of around 2,300 new cases per day, she said. That number then surged well over 3,000 cases per day in mid-July. But as the month ended, the average fell to around 2,500 cases per day. Ferrer said that is an indicator that business closures and mask enforcement measures are helping to limit the spread.
Based on the county’s population, the case rate is about 355 per 100,000 people – a drop from last week, when it was 400 per 100,000. But to get off the state’s watchlist, the number will have to go below 100 cases per 100,000, she said.
“We still have a ways to go to reduce community transmission,” Ferrer said.
SUNDAY’S UPDATE: August 2, 2020
Los Angeles police officers are doing their part to slow the spread of coronavirus, passing out face coverings on Hollywood Boulevard on Sunday morning.
The police department says this is an opportunity for officers to educate the public on the importance of wearing a face covering.
A handful of other local cities have fines in place for anyone not wearing a mask.
And on Sunday, health officials reported 23 additional deaths due to the coronavirus and 1,476 new cases in Los Angeles County. To date, officials have confirmed a total of 192,167 positive cases and a total of 4,692 deaths.
Meantime, in an effort to ramp up COVID-19 testing, the city of Los Angeles has deployed pop-up testing centers across the city, including a new one outside the William Mead Homes near Chinatown.
Community members can walk up to these sites from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a free test.
The Chinatown testing site was promoted by L.A. City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who represents a section of L.A. that’s been particularly hard hit by the virus.
RELATED: LA County updates from the month of July are available here.
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