November 12, 2020

City News Service


Los Angeles County reported 2,152 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths today, bringing the county's totals to 327,964 cases and 7,216 fatalities.

The high number of new cases came one day after officials said it would be weeks before the county could move into a less-restrictive tier of the state's four-tier economic-reopening roadmap.

The number of L.A. County residents hospitalized due to the virus also continued its recent spike Wednesday, increasing to 903 from 888 on Tuesday and 855 on Monday.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's Health and Human Services secretary, noted Tuesday that hospitalizations have increased by 31.6% statewide over the last two weeks, while the number of people in intensive care units was up nearly 30%.

Ghaly also said rising case numbers statewide mean the situation will likely be even worse next week.

“As we look forward to next week and we see which counties may have missed their current tier threshold this week, we anticipate if things stay they way they are, that between this week and next week over half of California counties will have moved into a more restrictive tier,'' Ghaly said. “And so that certainly is an indication that we're concerned and that we have to keep a close watch on what's happening.''

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer gave the Board of Supervisors a recap of the county's surging virus cases Tuesday, noting that the increases will stall hopes of moving out of the most restrictive “purple” Tier 1 of the state's matrix.

“The earliest we would see this county move to Tier 2 would be four weeks from now, and that's if every single person gets back to helping us slow the spread (of the virus),'' Ferrer said.

L.A. County has been mired in the purple level since the tier system was implemented. For one week, it met the threshold to advance to the red tier, but counties must meet the guidelines for two consecutive weeks to move up the ladder, and Los Angeles couldn't maintain the needed statistics.

Health officials have been blaming an increase in public and private gatherings for the surge, and they fear the upcoming winter holidays could exacerbate the problem.

“If we don't slow the spread now, we're heading into a very unfortunate holiday season,'' Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors, urging all residents to re-commit to basic infection-control methods such as wearing face masks and practicing physical distancing.

Ferrer said Monday that some individual communities within the county are seeing disturbingly high case rates. Pacoima topped the list of most- impacted communities, with an adjusted rate over two weeks of 506 cases per 100,000 residents. That's more than double the countywide rate of 188 cases per 100,000 residents.

Sun Valley was second on the list, with 456 cases per 100,000 residents, followed by Palmdale at 406. Other communities on the list were East Los Angeles, Van Nuys, El Monte, Downey, Pomona, North Hollywood, Glendale, Santa Clarita, South Gate, Florence-Firestone, Canoga Park and Panorama City.

“For everyone who's living in these communities, please note you need to take extra precautions,'' Ferrer said. “And if you've had an exposure, you should know that there's plenty of testing available so you can go in immediately and find a place to get tested.''

The county has reported more than 2,000 new cases for six of the past seven days.

“Today, we celebrate and pay respect to our veterans for their service and sacrifice to our nation,'' Ferrer said Wednesday. “If you are looking to celebrate Veterans Day, many events and celebrations in L.A. County have planned ways to pay homage to our veterans virtually. As more than 4,200 veterans have passed away from COVID-19 nationwide, we honor, celebrate and protect our veterans by doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.''

Category: Community