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For Immediate Release:

December 09, 2020

Public Health Warns the Surge in Cases Must Stop to Save Lives, Help Distressed Hospitals and Overwhelmed Healthcare Workers - 75 New Deaths and 9,243 New Positive Cases of Confirmed COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 75 new deaths and 9,243 new cases of COVID-19. This is the highest number of daily deaths since July 29.

Public Health urges everyone to help and collectively take the best actions available to get this situation under control: No gatherings/events with others outside of your immediate household, always and correctly wear face coverings/masks when around others, and maintain your physical distance from others who are not from your household. During this surge, everyone should also stay at home except for essential activities, avoid all travel that is not essential, get tested if you have symptoms or concerns, and isolate immediately from your family and others if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

L.A. County continues to experience more new cases reported each day for COVID-19 than at any point during the pandemic. This past week and a half, cases increased from an average of about 4,900 new cases each day the last week in November, to an average of more than 9,000 daily cases.

Testing results are available for nearly 3,985,000 individuals with 11% of all people testing positive. The County's daily test positivity rate has increased significantly. From early November through November 29, the test positivity rate has increased 3-fold from around 3.5% to just over 9%. Today’s test positivity rate is 12.5%.

The surge in cases, which began around November 2 led to an increase in hospitalizations starting around November 9 and then, tragically, the start of an increase in deaths beginning around November 15.

There are 3,299 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. The number of daily hospitalizations has increased over 400% from November 1 when the daily number of people hospitalized was 791.

Since November 9, average daily deaths have increased 258%, from 12 average deaths per day to 43 this week. Since these deaths reflect L.A. County case counts from a month ago, as cases have continued to increase the past few weeks, we will bear witness to a significant rise in the number of people who are dying.

The State reports the Southern California regional ICU bed capacity is currently 9%. As a reminder, The Southern California region, which includes L.A. County, is under the State Stay at Home Order because the ICU capacity for the region fell below 15%. As a reminder, the following sectors are closed:

The following activities are permitted with safety modifications including required mask wearing and distancing:

All government and critical infrastructure sectors are open as are all healthcare facilities and services operating under strict infection control requirements; please do not delay seeking needed health or dental care.

Please note that while youth sport teams are permitted to hold conditioning and skill building for team members during the stay at home orders, any team activities involving more than individual training, conditioning or skill building must be cancelled. As a reminder, sport teams are only allowed to include activities that involve no contact, little or no sharing of equipment, players/coaches are always able to remain at least 6 ft. apart from others, and everyone wears a mask. Practices and games are absolutely prohibited at this time.

To date, Public Health identified 475,271 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 8,075 deaths Upon further investigation, 293 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.

“For everyone who is now facing a future without a loved one or friend who has passed away from COVID-19, we send you our deepest sympathies and we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “This is a most dangerous time for L.A. County, and I ask everyone to please be extremely careful and diligent in protecting yourself and other people. When there are tens of thousands of infected people out and about each day, there is a significant increase in the probability that among the many encounters each individual has during the day, one or more of these will be with a person infected with the virus. The safest thing you can do during this very difficult time in the pandemic is to stay home as much as possible and to interact only with members of your household. When we must leave our homes, we always wear face coverings at all times when we are with people we don’t live with and we need to keep distance of at least 6 feet from other people as much as possible. Please use every tool we have to be as safe as possible." As L.A County has experienced significant increases in cases over the last few weeks, certain communities continue to experience the burden of transmission of the virus more than others. San Gabriel Valley and South Los Angeles County have the majority of communities that have experienced the highest rate increases. The communities in L.A. County that are seeing the largest increases in cases during this surge are the City of Rosemead, Century Palms/Cove area and Lennox area and all experienced case rate increases of over 400%.

Our community health workers focus their efforts in these communities as well as communities that have had high case rates throughout the pandemic. They provide information about how COVID-19 can spread and connect residents to essential resources. If you live or work in these communities, please know that many more people around you may now be infected. With much higher rates of virus transmission, it is critically important to stay at home as much as possible and if going out, please always keep distance of at least 6 feet and wear a face covering whenever you are around people not from your household. In order to protect our essential workers, everyone should follow all the safety directives when visiting stores and businesses or utilizing essential services.

As the pandemic continues, many people are experiencing a great deal of stress and difficulty. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please know that help is available. The Department of Mental Health’s Help Line operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They can provide you with referrals for mental health and wellness services. Also, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00p.m. daily, you can access the Emotional Support Warm Line with Trained Active Listeners to talk to. The phone number to access all these services is (800) 854-7771.

Of the 75 new deaths reported today, 17 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 28 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 17 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and seven people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Fifty-three people who died had underlying health conditions including 14 people over the age of 80 years old, 17 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 16 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and six people between the ages of 30 and 49 years. Five deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and one death by the City of Pasadena.

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 7,627 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.

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 475271 *

Deaths 8075

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. 293 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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