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Public Health Highlights Infection Control and Distancing to Prevent COVID-19 Spread as Sectors Reopen

Public Health Highlights Infection Control and Distancing to Prevent COVID-19 Spread as Sectors Reopen

As sectors reopen in L.A. County, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) highlights infection control and distancing as the best ways to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19, and cautions daily testing is not a substitute for these safety measures.

The most effective way to prevent transmission is always wearing a cloth face covering and keeping physical distance when around people you do not live with. Gatherings of any kind, even with people you know who have no symptoms and have been tested, can still result in transmission of the virus to many people, especially when people are not diligent about wearing face coverings and keeping physical distance.

Daily testing for the virus is not a substitute for infection control and distancing since it does not prevent someone from becoming infected and passing the virus along to others. Because of the virus’ long incubation period, even a person who has recently tested negative for the virus could be positive within hours of testing and can infect other people unknowingly.

Isolating when positive and quarantining when exposed are two other important tools in slowing the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, anyone who tests positive needs to isolate from others for at least 10 days, until symptoms have improved, and they are fever free for at least 24 hours. Any person that tests positive for COVID-19 may be able to infect others for up to 10 days after being diagnosed, even if the person never had symptoms or their symptoms have subsided, and anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 may have been able to infect others for at least 48 hours before they tested positive or before they showed any symptoms.

The goal for everyone, including Public Health, businesses, and residents, is to reopen sectors in a way that does not result in more cases, illness, and deaths from COVID-19. We are seeing in cities across the country and the world that with reopening often comes increases in transmission of the virus that ultimately requires sectors to close again for the safety of residents.

Today, Public Health has confirmed seven new deaths and 472 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 274,942 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 6,654 deaths. The low number of new deaths and new cases reported today reflect a reporting lag from over the weekend. Upon further investigation, 95 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.

“Each day, we know that these numbers represent tragedy for the many who have lost a person they cared about to this virus. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of you,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I join with all others in wishing the President, the First Lady, and their staff and colleagues a fast and complete recovery. And I extend these same wishes to all L.A. County residents who are sick from the coronavirus. It is the personal responsibility of everyone - businesses, institutions, and individuals – to protect ourselves and each other from further transmission of this dangerous virus. Compliance on everyone’s part is so important to reopening sectors and continuing to keep them open. None of us want to move backward in our recovery, and this will require each business, school and resident to use every tool we have to slow the spread of COVID-19 in all settings and circumstances."

Beginning today, Monday, October 5, schools can apply for a waiver to reopen their classrooms for in-person instruction for students in grades TK through 2. To apply, schools must complete an online application available at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov. The application must be accompanied by letters of support from employees and parents. In addition to the application and letters of support, schools must also submit a completed Public Health K-12 Protocol Checklist to demonstrate that they are in compliance with all required infection control protocols. The program prioritizes the issuance of waivers to schools with higher percentages of students qualified for free/reduced meals and is capped at 30 schools per week. The review process will take 2-3 weeks and includes consultation with the California Department of Public Health.

The timeline for the re-opening of additional sectors are the following:

 

  • As of October 1, nail salons resumed indoor services at 25% capacity. Outdoor services should continue as much as possible.
  • As of today, October 5, cardrooms can reopen for outdoor operations only. Food and beverages may not be served at the tables. Face coverings are required.
  • On October 7, indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen with occupancy limited to 25% capacity; all food courts and all common areas remain closed.
  • Outside playgrounds can reopen at the discretion of cities and L.A. County Parks and Recreation. Face coverings and physical distancing are required.

Public Health continues consulting with County Counsel on the process for re-opening outdoor operations at breweries and wineries serving a meal.

All operators of businesses that are allowed to reopen are required to implement all Public Health protocols before reopening to ensure compliance and avoid citations, fines and possible closure. It is important that businesses protect employees, customers and residents from COVID-19 as much as possible by following Public Health protocols and directives.

Public Health continues to support businesses in complying with the required protocols that make employees and the community as safe as possible, and offers to all businesses and employees the COVID-19 Safety Compliance Certification Program. This free training allows businesses and employees to learn about safety protocols and to self-certify that they have completed the training. To date, 1,903 employers and 1,949 employees have completed the training. We want to thank everyone who has participated, and we encourage all businesses and employees to take advantage of this program.

Public Health's compliance team continues to visit businesses across the County every day. While the inspectors’ goal is to assist businesses become compliant with requirements, they do continue to issue citations that result in fines and unfortunately closings to those who are unable or refuse to take the steps needed to protect their workforce and community.

Of the seven new deaths reported today, three people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, one person who died was between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, two people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Five people who died had underlying health conditions including three people over the age of 80 and two people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old.

Ninety-two 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 6,265 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% 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 nearly 2,727,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive. There are 674 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 27% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU.

 

The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Data Dashboard, Recovery Metrics, 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 274942 *

 

  • Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas) 260271
  • Long Beach 12053
  • Pasadena 2618

Deaths 6654

  • Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas) 6281
  • Long Beach 249
  • Pasadena 124

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

  • 0 to 4: 4383
  • 5 to 11: 9447
  • 12 to 17: 11728
  • 18 to 29: 64683
  • 30 to 49: 89113
  • 50 to 64: 50196
  • 65 to 79: 19920
  • over 80: 9234
  • Under Investigation 1567

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

  • Female: 131207
  • Male: 126011
  • Other: 138
  • Under Investigation 2915

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

  • American Indian/Alaska Native 248
  • Asian: 8227
  • Black: 7938
  • Hispanic/Latino: 98896
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 764
  • White: 21294
  • Other: 27150
  • Under Investigation: 95754

Hospitalization

  • Hospitalized (Ever) 22154

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

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 12
  • Asian: 913
  • Black: 616
  • Hispanic/Latino: 3220
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 22
  • White: 1448
  • Other: 34
  • Under Investigation: 16

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