Another 38 deaths due to the coronavirus were reported in Los Angeles County today, while health officials again urged people participating in protests to take precautions against spreading the virus.
The 38 deaths — one of which was actually reported Wednesday by health officials in Long Beach — lifted the countywide total number of fatalities during the pandemic to 5,701.
County officials also announced another 1,636 new cases of the virus, while Long Beach reported 83 and Pasadena added 11. Long Beach and Pasadena both have their own health departments separate from the county. The new cases lifted the countywide total since the pandemic began to 237,080.
As of today, there are 1,168 people hospitalized due to the virus, continuing the downward trajectory seen through much of August.
Although coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations have been declining, the county Department of Public Health continued to warn residents not to become lax in following preventive guidelines, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing.
In a statement, the agency recognized the resurgence of protests in recent days, fueled by the Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake, along with possible gatherings to mark the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium.
The county urged people planning to take part in such events to stay home if they are sick, seek medical attention if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, wear a face covering, try to maintain physical distance from others, bring along hand sanitizer and keep your hands clean.
“As we head into another summer weekend, please remember how important it is to continue taking all the steps we know work to lower the transmission of COVID-19,” public health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Let’s work together to prevent fun at the beach, picnicking in our parks, worshiping with our congregation or attending peaceful protests from resulting in more transmission of COVID-19.
“When you are outside, for any activity where others are around, please wear a face covering at all times and keep at least six feet of distance from anyone not in your household,” she said. “This is the best way we can care for and protect the people around us.”
Ferrer noted Wednesday that the county’s 14-day average daily rate of new cases stood at 198 per 100,000 residents, still well above the state benchmark of 100 cases per 100,000. Being below 200 cases per 100,000 residents, however, makes the county eligible to consider waiver applications from schools and school districts interested in resuming in-person instruction.
But Ferrer said county officials still need to review newly released protocols from the state about school re-openings and gatherings of young children before opening the waiver process.
Health services director Dr. Christina Ghaly said the county’s transmission rate — the average number of people that a coronavirus patient infects — stood at 0.92 as of Wednesday. She said as long as that figure remains below one, “we can expect that cases will continue to gradually decrease over time.”
Ghaly also put out a call to residents interested in taking part in a clinical trial of a possible vaccine that will be conducted at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She encouraged anyone interested to enroll online at helpstopcovid.la.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in West Hollywood as of today remains at 488, with no increase from Wednesday’s count. The Health Department’s COVID-19 database today reports that the number of WeHo residents who have died of COVID-19 related illnesses is five.
In Beverly Hills, the number of confirmed infections has increased by three to 609. The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Beverly Hills remains at 11. The number of COVID-19 infection confirmed among Culver City residents has increased by two to 369. The number of deaths remains at 29. Hollywood has four newly confirmed infections, bringing its total to date is 1,041 The number of deaths remains at 11. The Melrose neighborhood has 18 new confirmed infections, bringing its total to date to 1,718. The number of COVID-19 related deaths has increased by one to 64.
Public Health has a dedicated call line for confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services, call toll-free at 1 (833) 540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 can continue to call 211 for resources or more information.
One way the virus can be transmitted is through a cough, a sneeze or even through air that comes from the mouth when someone talks. For that reason, residents must wear face coverings when out in public and can be cited for not doing so. The citations come with a $250 fine and a $50 administrative fee.
West Hollywood residents with questions about the COVID-19 pandemic or who are looking for resources to deal with it can find answers on the City of West Hollywood’s website. Here is a list of links to sections about particular subjects and issues: