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For Immediate Release:

August 31, 2020

Public Health Urges Residents to Plan for a Safe Labor Day Weekend – Reports 16 New Deaths and 1,022 New Cases of Confirmed COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

While optimistic about the current community transmission data we are seeing, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is preparing for a holiday weekend and warning the public to heed the lessons learned from the spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths that occurred after the previous holidays.

Increases in cases and hospitalizations occurred within a few weeks of the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays. In order to continue our recovery journey, it’s important to utilize the tools that we have and adhere to physical distancing and infection control requirements that reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

As a reminder, being around people who aren’t part of your household puts you at a greater risk for COVID-19, which is why it is so important to find ways to celebrate Labor Day without going to parties and barbeques hosted by non-household members.

L.A. County has made encouraging progress in all the key indicators the past month. The percent of positive tests is a good indicator of how we are doing at slowing the spread of the virus. A month ago, on July 31, the 7-day test positivity rate was 8.6%. Today, the 7-day positivity rate is 4.7%, a decrease of 45% in one month. In that same period, the county’s daily hospitalizations decreased by 48%, from 2,220 on July 31 to 1,043 today. The 7-day average of new cases has also declined steadily over the past month. On July 31 the 7-day average of new cases was 2,883 and today that number is 1,309, a decrease of 55%.

Today, Public Health has confirmed 16 new deaths and 1,022 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health has identified 241,768 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,784 deaths. Upon further investigation, three cases and one death reported earlier were not LA County residents.

Of the 16 new deaths reported today, eight people that passed away (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were over the age of 80 years old, two people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, four 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. Eleven people had underlying health conditions including seven people over the age of 80 years old, two people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, one person between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and one person between the ages of 30 and 49 years old.

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 5,443 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 15% 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.

Testing results are available for more than 2,296,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive. "Our hearts go out to all our county residents who are mourning the loss of a loved one," said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As we approach the Labor Day weekend and as we plan for how our county will reopen schools and more businesses, we must learn from our past. Gatherings – parties, cook-outs and the other activities we usually do with non-household members on holidays can easily lead to increases in transmission, hospitalizations and deaths.”

On Friday, the state announced a new tiered framework to capture more easily the extent of community transmission in counties across the state and will use this tiered system to guide possible sector re-openings for each county to consider. However, the ultimate decisions about sector re-openings will remain under the purview of the local Health Officer Orders that are developed in consultation with our Board of Supervisors. LA County is currently in Tier 1, meaning that there continues to be widespread transmission of the virus in the county. The current number of new cases per day per 100,000 people is 13.1, nearly double the threshold for this tier which is less than 7 new cases per day per 100,000 population. And even though L.A. County’s current test positivity rate of 5% puts us in Tier 2 (Red) for this metric, when the two metrics fall in different tiers the state places counties in the most restrictive tier; hence, L.A. County, like most counties in California, has been placed in Tier 1. Our path forward for recovery depends on us being able to reduce community transmission significantly so children and teachers can get back to their classrooms and more people can get back to their jobs with as much safety as possible.

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.

Please see additional information below:

Laboratory Confirmed Cases 241768 Total Cases*

Deaths 5784

Age Group (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

Gender (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

Hospitalization

Deaths Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

CITY / COMMUNITY (Rate**)

These numbers are subject to change based on further investigation. Three cases and one death previously reported were not in Public Health's jurisdiction. * Means that case numbers include cases associated with correctional facility outbreaks located in the city/community. **Rate is crude and is per 100,000. This represents the number of cases per 100,000 people and allows for the proportional comparison of cities of different sizes.

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichealth .lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lapublichealth, facebook.com/lapublichealth, instagram.com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/lapublichealth.




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