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For Immediate Release:

October 19, 2020

L.A. County COVID-19 Case Increases Driven by Younger Residents One New Death and 923 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed one new death and 923 new cases of COVID-19. The low number of new deaths and new cases reported today reflect a reporting lag from over the weekend.

To date, Public Health identified 289,366 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 6,877 deaths. Upon further investigation, eight cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents. Testing results are available for nearly 2,894,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive.

People of all ages are at risk of being infected with COVID-19 and younger groups are driving L.A. County’s case counts. Throughout the pandemic, people between the ages of 18 and 49 years old have had the highest number of cases, now accounting for 58% of all cases. When you add teenagers, a group who may be out socializing, individuals between 12 through 50 years old account for 68% of new cases.

There are 722 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 27% of these people in the ICU. People over the age of 50 years old continue to make up the majority (60%) of people hospitalized with COVID-19. People between the ages of 18 and 29 years old have had a significant increase in hospitalizations and now comprise of over 10% hospitalization. This has doubled from the 5% of all hospitalizations seen in mid-May among this age group.

Everyday hundreds of Public Health specialists call people who are positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts. From September 24 through October 14, a total of 13,278 people who were positive for COVID-19 completed interviews. Of these individuals, 54% reported being in close contact with at least one other person. Since September, between 65% and 70% of both cases and contacts completed interviews. Almost one third of the interviews are not completed primarily because people do not return calls and or refuse to provide requested information.

During the interview process, most people were unable to identify where they may have been exposed; however, of those that can identify possible exposure sites, 55% said they attended an event or gathering where two or more people became sick, and 17% said they attended a place of worship where people became sick. Over 3,000 people who tested positive for COVID-19 spent time at a retail setting, like a grocery store or other shop. Over 1,400 people spent time at outdoor spaces, over 600 people visited restaurants and over 500 people had been in offices.

Obtaining as much information as possible from people during the case investigation interview helps contain the virus and minimize outbreaks and is a crucial part of protecting the health of communities. We encourage anyone who receives a call from Public Health to speak to our Public Health specialist. If a Public Health specialist calls, it will display on your phone as “LA Public Health” or as 833-641-0305.

“We send our deepest sympathies to everyone who is grieving 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 younger people become very seriously ill from COVID-19 and tragically, some die. It is important that people of all ages use every tool we each have to protect themselves and each other from transmission of the virus. We are very grateful to everyone – both those who are identified cases and those who are their close contacts – who has completed an interview with our contact tracing staff. Our team is here to help everyone in our communities stay as safe as possible. By talking with us, we can make sure you have the resources needed to protect those you love and those at increased risk for becoming seriously ill in our communities."

As of October 13, there have been a total of three deaths among the 2,072 pregnant women that tested positive for COVID-19. All the women who died had underlying health conditions. Eighty percent of pregnant women testing positive for COVID-19 are Latina/Latinx, 8% are White, 4% are African American/Black, 3% are Asian, 3% identify with another race, and race/ethnicity was unknown or unspecified for 2%. The potential explanations for the disproportionality among Latinas are numerous and rooted in the inequities seen throughout this pandemic where Latinx communities have consistently experienced higher case, hospitalization, and death rates. Among the 1,176 births where there was testing information, 17 babies tested positive for the virus.

Because Latinx residents are more likely to live in high-poverty areas where they have less access to the health affirming resources needed for optimal health and well-being and are more likely to work in lower-wage jobs with less control over their working conditions and a higher risk of workplace exposures, limiting workplace exposures is key to reducing the risk of exposure to pregnant Latinas and their partners. We continue to work with employers to implement workplace protocols and to identify clusters of positive cases before they turn into a workplace outbreak.

Public health tracks the number of positive cases and deaths among healthcare workers related to the COVID-19 pandemic response. There have been a total 101 COVID-19 deaths and a total of 16,435 positive cases among healthcare workers and first responders in Los Angeles County. Nurses continue to account for the majority of cases (36%) and deaths (44%) among healthcare workers. One-third (33%) of healthcare workers who tested positive for the virus worked at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and 26% of healthcare workers testing positive worked at hospitals. Latino/Latinx people account for nearly 50% of all cases among healthcare workers, Asian healthcare workers account for nearly 15%, White healthcare workers account for 11%, and African American/Black healthcare workers account for nearly 7%. Public Health works with organizations across the county to ensure that health care workers are protected at worksites and have the personal protective equipment needed to stay safe.

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 6,474 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% 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. Today's reported COVID-19 death occurred in a person over the age of 80 years old who had underlying health conditions.

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 Total Cases 289366 *

Deaths 6877

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. Eight cases 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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