Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 1,789 new cases of the coronavirus and 10 related deaths but said the numbers still did not include a pending backlog of lab reports that could cause a spike in new cases.
Young residents continue to account for an outsize share of the new cases, officials said. Of the infections recorded Sunday, 35% were among residents 30 to 49, and 69% were among residents under 50, the Department of Public Health said in a news release.
Hospitalizations continued to trend downward, with a total of 1,514 confirmed coronavirus patients as of Saturday, compared with 2,017 patients two weeks before.
“As we begin to see the curve flattening again, I want to urge everyone to remain cautious and attentive to the reality of COVID-19; it is not going away any time soon,” Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, said in a statement. “If we return to life as we knew it before the pandemic hit, we will see cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase once again.”
She urged people to stay home as much as possible and refrain from gathering with others from outside their household.
Los Angeles County now has recorded 208,528 cases of the coronavirus and 4,977 deaths.
Orange County added 565 cases of the virus and six deaths on Sunday, bringing its total to 39,641 cases and 726 deaths. Hospitalizations continued to decline there too, with 487 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals as of Saturday, compared with 687 two Saturdays before.
Statewide, there are now 559,540 cases of the coronavirus, and 10,374 people have died. There were 5,636 hospital patients statewide with a confirmed case as of Saturday, a decline of 18% from two weeks before, according to the L.A. Times coronavirus tracker.
Officials have cautioned that the number of cases, including those reported by individual counties, could be artificially low due to glitches in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange electronic database that resulted in hundreds of thousands of lab reports not being uploaded to the database. They are working to fix the system and said that could cause a spike in new cases as the backlog of lab reports is cleared. It’s not clear whether the lost tests are scattered throughout the state or confined to a small number of counties.
Hospitalization and death statistics are not affected by the reporting errors, officials said.
Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday reported 2,645 new cases of the coronavirus and 51 related deaths but said hospitalizations continue to decline.
The latest case numbers did not include a pending backlog of lab reports the county is expecting the state to send via its electronic reporting system over the next couple of days, officials said. It’s not clear whether that will change the overall picture of how rapidly the virus continues to spread.
Still, officials said, death and hospitalization statistics were not affected by the reporting glitch, which has rendered new case numbers inaccurate.
On Friday, there were 1,568 confirmed COVID-19 cases in county hospitals; the number topped 2,000 for much of July. The most recent three-day average number of hospitalizations represented a decline of 5.2%, according to the L.A. Times coronavirus tracker.
L.A. County has now tallied 206,778 cases and 4,967 deaths.
“After a fairly rough July, we are cautiously optimistic about what our numbers are showing in the first week of August, particularly the information on declining daily hospitalizations,” Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, said in a statement.
“As we look to the future and continue planning our recovery, the lessons from our recent past serve as a reminder that we need to continue our vigilance in the face of this still new and dangerous virus.”
Ferrer said this will require many more weeks of putting activities on hold, avoiding parties and crowded situations, wearing face coverings in public and keeping six feet apart from others.
Orange County reported a similar drop in hospitalizations, with a total of 491 confirmed COVID-19 patients and a three-day average that represented a 5.1% decline. The county added 322 cases and 16 deaths Saturday, bringing its total to 39,076 cases and 720 deaths.
California has reported 554,389 cases and 10,307 deaths statewide.
Officials have cautioned that the number of cases, including those reported by individual counties, could be artificially low due to glitches in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange electronic database.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services director, said Friday that between 250,000 and 300,000 results have not been uploaded to the database. It’s not clear if the lost test results are scattered throughout the state or contained to a small number of counties.
The issue has affected L.A. County’s efforts at contact tracing, and officials on Saturday renewed their plea for any resident who has tested positive to call 1-833-540-0473 to speak to a public health specialist.
Times staff writer Taryn Luna contributed to this report.
A coronavirus outbreak among 45 people at the University of Southern California has been tied to three fraternities, Los Angeles County’s top health official announced Wednesday.
The outbreak is the largest among colleges and universities in the county, Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.
A group of graduate students at USC, some of whom live together, also became infected after socializing.
Additionally, a separate outbreak is being investigated at UCLA after “a number” of football players returned to campus and tested positive, Ferrer said. She did not provide additional details about either of the outbreaks.
Ferrer highlighted the hotspots before announcing the county’s preliminary protocols for reopening higher education settings, which she noted will not happen anytime soon.
“I know that so many students and teachers and staff are eager to return to their campuses, but it simply won’t be possible to return to collegiate life as we knew it before. Dorms, classrooms and social life that’s offered by our colleges and universities create high-risk, activities and become high-risk settings for the spread of COVID-19,” Ferrer said. “Given that this virus has reached every single part of the country, and will be an unwelcome visitor hitching a ride with students as they return to our campuses, we need to be very vigilant in how we reopen.”
Ferrer said the county will follow any guidelines released by the state regarding the reopening of colleges and universities, but indicated that local officials are planning for the safe return of students and faculty.
“The common thread is that colleges and universities, like all other workplaces and places in our community, will have to step up their infection control practices, including the regular sanitizing of common spaces, consistent use of face coverings in all parts of the campus, and the reconfiguration of campus spaces, including dorms, to enable appropriate physical distancing,” Ferrer said.
Infections and community spread among younger people remains a concern in Los Angeles County, especially since that age group is more likely to want to gather with people outside their household, Ferrer said.
Nearly 60% of the 2,347 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday were in residents between 18 and 49 years old.
This week, officials effectively banned gatherings following a fatal shooting at a massive party at a Beverly Crest home.
“Gatherings of people from different households are such a bad idea at this point in time, particularly when this is happening as many have expanded the number of their contacts with others because they are back at work, or they are going out shopping, and they’re eating out,” the director said.
Infections among younger people have increased dramatically during the summer months, Ferrer noted.
Since the beginning of June, for example, case rates of people between 30 and 48 are the highest among all age groups in the county.
Additionally, case rates among people between 18 to 29 quadrupled from the beginning of June the end of July.
“This explosive growth in cases shows that these two age groups continue to drive new infections,” Ferrer said.
And while hospitalizations and deaths are trending down for every age group in the county, that doesn’t mean younger people aren’t at risk.
“No matter how young you are, you are at risk for death from COVID-19,” Ferrer stressed. “It’s also important to remember that although you as an individual, particularly a younger adult, may not suffer these devastating consequences from COVID-19, you could infect someone you love, and that could be a relative or friend, and you could infect someone in your community, who could get very sick, and unfortunately pass away.”
That’s why the county is spearheading a new educational campaign to target young people amid the coronavirus crisis. Officials encouraged younger individuals to share their stories on social media using #TheRiskIsReal, and will be putting up billboards cautioning about the effects of COVID-19.
Ferrer on Wednesday reported 68 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in the county to 4,825. Ferrer noted that number of new total cases she reported Wednesday could be higher after technology issues in California’s lab reporting system resulted in an undercount of local cases. So far, there are a total of 197,912 coronavirus cases in the county.
Floyd County logged another 77 COVID-19 cases from Saturday to Monday, bringing the number of residents who have tested positive for the disease to 1,283.
In the past two weeks there have been 383 Floyd County residents confirmed positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center were treating 66 COVID-19 positive patients on Monday, according to numbers released by the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency.
Some of those patients are from surrounding counties and and a few are patients from other regions, including South Georgia.
Floyd Medical Center began the process this afternoon of moving non-ICU COVID-19 patients to a 20-bed mobile intensive care unit, FMC spokesperson Dan Bevels said. The unit was brought in by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency as an overflow facility for the region. The patients are being moved to open up room in the main building for those patients with more acute conditions.
There have been no new fatalities since the 15th death recorded in late May.
Statewide, 2,271 new cases were confirmed Monday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. That’s a positive rate of 12% out of the 21,761 test results returned. Two Georgians died of the disease on Monday and 60 were hospitalized.
Meanwhile, the debate is ramping up over who will get vaccines once one is available.
U.S. health authorities hope by late next month to have some draft guidance on how to ration initial doses, but it’s a vexing decision.
“Not everybody’s going to like the answer,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, recently told one of the advisory groups the government asked to help decide. “There will be many people who feel that they should have been at the top of the list.”
Traditionally, first in line for a scarce vaccine are health workers and the people most vulnerable to the targeted infection.
But Collins tossed new ideas into the mix: Consider geography and give priority to people where an outbreak is hitting hardest.
And don’t forget volunteers in the final stage of vaccine testing who get dummy shots, the comparison group needed to tell if the real shots truly work.
“We owe them … some special priority,” Collins said.
Huge studies this summer aim to prove which of several experimental COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. began tests last week that eventually will include 30,000 volunteers each; in the next few months, equally large calls for volunteers will go out to test shots made by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax. And some vaccines made in China are in smaller late-stage studies in other countries.
For all the promises of the U.S. stockpiling millions of doses, the hard truth: Even if a vaccine is declared safe and effective by year’s end, there won’t be enough for everyone who wants it right away — especially as most potential vaccines require two doses.
With vaccine misinformation abounding and fears that politics might intrude, CDC Director Robert Redfield said the public must see vaccine allocation as “equitable, fair and transparent.”
Whoever gets to go first, a mass vaccination campaign while people are supposed to be keeping their distance is a tall order. During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, families waited in long lines in parking lots and at health departments when their turn came up, crowding that authorities know they must avoid this time around.
Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s effort to speed vaccine manufacturing and distribution, is working out how to rapidly transport the right number of doses to wherever vaccinations are set to occur.
Drive-through vaccinations, pop-up clinics and other innovative ideas are all on the table, said CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier.
As soon as a vaccine is declared effective, “we want to be able the next day, frankly, to start these programs,” Messonnier said. “It’s a long road.”
Editor John Bailey and AP medical writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirms 59 new deaths and 4,592 new cases of COVID-19. This is the largest increase in new cases in L.A. since the pandemic began, surpassing the count from just two days before of 4,244 new cases. Over the last 48 hours there have been 7,350 new cases.
COVID-related hospitalizations are also at a record high of 2,173 people on Thursday. That surpasses the old record of 2,103 people hospitalized, which was also set on Tuesday.
To be absolutely clear, that means L.A. has set records for new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations on two out of the past three days.
Those numbers come on the same day the State of California reported that it’s 7-day running average of daily new cases totaled more than 8,000 for the first time. That average has risen 295 percent in the past month.
“We are seeing a higher rate and higher numbers than we’ve seen before,” said Los Angeles Public Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis earlier on Thursday.
Dr. Davis indicated health officials are worried about hospital and ICU capacity. He said “all” the hospitals in the region are “looking at implementing surge capacity.”
Asked when those beds may run out, Dr. Davis said, “At this point, we don’t have an accurate number or trajectory” as to when the county will be out of ICU beds, but said the numbers are “skyrocketing.”
The number of ICU beds is more limited, and health officials are closely monitoring that situation.
There are currently 1389 available ICU beds out of a total of about 4800.
(CNN)Some of the largest school districts in Orange County, California, say they will not follow their board of education’s recommendation to return students and teachers to the classroom.
The board’s recommendations
Los Angeles County health officials have ordered the closure of a garment manufacturing facility where more than 300 employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus, including four people who died from the disease.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) said in a statement Friday that the order came as a result of an investigation into Los Angeles Apparel, a basics apparel manufacturer and distributor founded in 2016. The company employs more than 350 people, according to its Facebook page.
DPH said that it initiated the probe after learning that three employees died of COVID-19 in June and that one succumbed to the virus in early July.
“The death of four dedicated garment workers is heartbreaking and tragic,” DPH Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Business owners and operators have a corporate, moral and social responsibility to their employees and their families to provide a safe work environment that adheres to all of the health officer directives — this responsibility is important, now more than ever, as we continue to fight this deadly virus.”
DPH first ordered the Los Angeles Apparel plant on June 27 to shut down its operations after an earlier review found that it had committed “flagrant violations of mandatory public health infection control orders.” County officials also said that the garment manufacturer failed to cooperate with its review of a reported coronavirus outbreak at the facility.
A health care provider had first notified DPH of a potential outbreak at the plant on June 19, the department noted, adding that it prompted an immediate investigation into the matter. As part of the probe, health officials requested a list of the apparel company’s employees to compare it to testing results DPH receives. But the company failed to comply with multiple requests for the list, county health officials said.
Inspectors who visited the plant ahead of the June 27 order also observed “multiple violations of distancing requirements and infection control protocols.” The violations included cardboard being used as a barrier between employees.
A couple weeks later, DPH advised that Los Angeles Apparel could only permit employees who had no symptoms to return. But the company “violated the Health Officer Order by reopening with apparently new employees, which DPH learned despite Los Angeles Apparel’s attempts to prevent DPH employees from entering the factory,” officials said.
“At this time, Los Angeles Apparel is under orders to remain closed until they can show that the facility is in full compliance with Public Health mandates,” DPH said.
Los Angeles Apparel did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.
Dov Charney, the company’s founder, pushed back on the allegations made by the health department while speaking with CNN. He contended that the decision was “political” in nature and disputed the statement that the company did not cooperate with the investigation.
He told CNN that the county health department did not tell the company that use of cardboard barriers wasn’t in line with health protocols. He also said he received no guidance about the hiring of new employees.
“Absolutely, we brought in new employees,” Charney said. “What company can’t hire new employees? No one said do not hire new employees.”
The outbreak at the garment manufacturing facility in Los Angeles comes as Southern California and many other parts of the U.S. experience a surge in new coronavirus cases. California has reported more than 300,000 confirmed cases of the virus, more than a third of which have been recorded in Los Angeles County.
The country reported approximately 4,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on July 7, marking a new single-day high.
, EXPERIENCE AND THE CALL SHE RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. >> NO ONE AROUND RIGHT NOW AND I’M GOING TO PULL OFF MY MASK. ALLEGHENY COUNTY SAYS THE NUMBER OF CASES HAS GONE UP IN THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS VERY CONCERNING TO THEM. ONE WAY TO STEM THAT IS THROUGH CONTACT TRACING. WE ARE LEARNING A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE PROCESS. >> TODAY’S ACTUALLY THE BEST I HAVE FELT IN THE LAST COUPLE DAYS. REPORTER: ERIN TOBIAS IS ON A ROAD TO RECOVERY. SHE WOKE UP FEEING BAD LAST SATURDAY, GOT A TEST THAT NIGHT. A FEW DAYS LATER, THEY TOLD HER SHE’S POSITIVE. AN HOUR AFTER THAT, SHE GOT THE CALL FROM A 412 NUMBER. >> WE WERE PROBABLY ON THE PHONE FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES, MAYBE. AND THEY JUST WANTED TO TRACE BACK ALMOST MY EVERY MOVE FROM THE LAST TWO WEEKS. REPORTER: TOBIAS SAYS THE TRACER WAS EVEN MORE INTERESTED IN THE CLOSE CONTACTS 48 HOURS BEFORE SHE STARTED SHOWING SYMPTOMS. CLOSE CONTACTS WERE DEFINED AS SOMEONE LESS THAN SIX FEET AWAY FOR MORE THAN 15 MINUTES, EVEN IF ONE OR BOTH PEOPLE WERE WEARING MASKS. SHE SAYS THEY WERE ALSO INTERESTED IN WHETHER OR NOT ANY KIDS WERE NEARBY AS WELL. THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ASKED FOR NAMES AND NUMBERS OF THOSE PEOPLE AS PART OF THEIR INVESTIGATION. WE ASKED TOBIAS IF THAT GAVE HER ANY PRIVACY CONCERNS. >> I GET THAT THEY’RE JUST TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT LIKE THE REST OF US ARE. THESE DOCTORS AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, THEY’RE JUST TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT. THE MORE QUESTIONS THEY ASK, AND PINPOINT HOW IT IS BEING SPREAD AND WHERE IT IS GOING FROM THERE , WE GET IT. THEY’RE JUST DOING THEIR JOB. REPORTER: THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT DOES EVENTUALLY CALL THOSE CONTACTS TO LET THEM KNOW OF POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO SOMEONE TESTED POSITIVE. IF YOU WERE, YOU ARE URGED TO SELF-QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS. BECAUSE OF THE LARGE INCREASE IN CASES, THE PROCESS OF CONTACT TRACING COULD BE SLOWER, BUT IT IS ONE
Allegheny County Health Department says contact tracing to be slower with spike in cases
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 speaks with someone who recently went through the process
The Allegheny Health Department says the volume of new cases means contact tracing won’t happen as quickly.Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 spoke with Erin Tobias.She woke up last Saturday feeling unwell. She got a test that night and learned a few days later that she was positive for COVID-19 and got a call from a contact tracer about an hour later.”We were probably on the phone for about 30 minutes, maybe. And they just wanted to trace back almost my every move from the last two weeks,” Tobias said.While they were interested in everything she’d done the last few weeks, she said the contact tracer really honed in on the 48 hours before she started feeling symptoms, and who she may have been in contact with.Tobias plays softball and told tracers the names of people she’d been close to. The health department defined a close contact as someone who’d been within six feet for more than 15 minutes.They also asked about children who may have been nearby. Tobias thought the implication was that younger children are less likely to abide by social distancing.Tobias says she hasn’t traveled out of state and hadn’t gone into bars or restaurants for long periods of time, adding that her family wore masks too.”They asked if I had traveled, they had asked if I’d been in any large groups, gatherings of 25 or more, any events, had I gone to any restaurant, public spaces, stores. This, that and the other thing,” Tobias said.Tobias said she trusted the health department with all this information, saying it was for the greater good.”Although part of me thinks this is not that bad anymore and people are OK, you still, once you do have it, you feel like ‘oh my gosh’ who could have I infected, or I hope that my case doesn’t travel around further to someone that would get it worse than me. So I was nervous to tell people, but I knew I wasn’t going to get any harsh backlash,” she said.Here’s a link to the latest guidance from the health department on contact tracing.
The Allegheny Health Department says the volume of new cases means contact tracing won’t happen as quickly.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 spoke with Erin Tobias.
She woke up last Saturday feeling unwell. She got a test that night and learned a few days later that she was positive for COVID-19 and got a call from a contact tracer about an hour later.
“We were probably on the phone for about 30 minutes, maybe. And they just wanted to trace back almost my every move from the last two weeks,” Tobias said.
While they were interested in everything she’d done the last few weeks, she said the contact tracer really honed in on the 48 hours before she started feeling symptoms, and who she may have been in contact with.
Tobias plays softball and told tracers the names of people she’d been close to. The health department defined a close contact as someone who’d been within six feet for more than 15 minutes.
They also asked about children who may have been nearby. Tobias thought the implication was that younger children are less likely to abide by social distancing.
Tobias says she hasn’t traveled out of state and hadn’t gone into bars or restaurants for long periods of time, adding that her family wore masks too.
“They asked if I had traveled, they had asked if I’d been in any large groups, gatherings of 25 or more, any events, had I gone to any restaurant, public spaces, stores. This, that and the other thing,” Tobias said.
Tobias said she trusted the health department with all this information, saying it was for the greater good.
“Although part of me thinks this is not that bad anymore and people are OK, you still, once you do have it, you feel like ‘oh my gosh’ who could have I infected, or I hope that my case doesn’t travel around further to someone that would get it worse than me. So I was nervous to tell people, but I knew I wasn’t going to get any harsh backlash,” she said.
June 23, 2020 | 2:11pm | Updated June 23, 2020 | 3:28pm
Lincoln County, Oregon, has exempted non-white people from a new order requiring that face coverings be worn in public — to prevent racial profiling.
Health officials announced last week residents must wear face coverings in public settings where they may come within six feet of another individual who is not from the same household.
But people of color do not have to follow the new rule if they have “heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment” over wearing the masks, officials said.
“No person shall intimidate or harass people who do not comply,” health officials said.
With mask requirements becoming more common, activists have raised concerns that the directives could put non-white people in danger.
“For many black people, deciding whether or not to wear a bandanna in public to protect themselves and others from contracting coronavirus is a lose-lose situation that can result in life-threatening consequences either way,” ReNika Moore, director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, told CNN.
Trevon Logan, who is black, said orders to wear face coverings are “basically telling people to look dangerous given racial stereotypes that are out there.”
“This is in the larger context of black men fitting the description of a suspect who has a hood on, who has a face covering on,” Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University, told the outlet.
“It looks like almost every criminal sketch of any garden-variety black suspect.”