For the third day in a row, Los Angeles County has reported more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases, continuing a string of elevated numbers that could further stall efforts to reopen more sectors of the local economy.
The county announced 1,256 new cases Friday, down slightly from the 1,280 announced on Thursday. The county on Wednesday reported 1,645 new cases, the highest numbers seen since Aug. 22.
Health officials said this week they would be closely monitoring the case numbers, but said the elevated numbers should be a reminder that COVID-19 is still spreading in the community.
The 1,256 cases announced by the county, along with 45 reported by health officials in Long Beach and five by Pasadena, lifted the cumulative countywide total since the start of the pandemic to 279,959.
The county also reported another 13 coronavirus-related deaths, although one of those fatalities was actually announced Thursday afternoon by Pasadena’s health department. The new deaths increased the countywide total to 6,741.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials also announced one additional confirmed case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, bringing the overall number of cases of the rare malady to 41 in the county. The condition, which has been linked to COVID-19 exposure, results in inflammation of bodily organs.
Nearly half of the children who contracted the syndrome in Los Angeles County had to be treated in an intensive-care unit, but there have been no reported deaths in the county from the illness.
With more businesses reopening in the past week, health officials urged customers and business owners to adhere to all safety protocols when patronizing restaurants or other merchants. According to the county, 118 virus outbreaks occurred in businesses or workplaces that were opened in the past two weeks alone. Since Sunday, the county has issued 125 citations to businesses for failing to comply with health protocols, and an undisclosed number were actually closed due to “significant health and safety concerns or violations” of health orders.
No details were released on business closures.
After months of closure, indoor shopping malls were permitted to reopen Wednesday, though limited at 25% of capacity and with food courts and common areas remaining closed. That follows nail salons, which were permitted to reopen indoors last week; card rooms, which were allowed to open outdoors on Monday; and outdoor playgrounds, which were cleared to reopen at the discretion of individual cities.
As of Friday, there were 724 people hospitalized in the county due to the virus. That’s up from 709 on Thursday, 696 on Wednesday, 685 on Tuesday and 674 on Monday. Health officials acknowledged that the number has been on the rise this week, but the total has remained below 800 since mid-September — well below the 2,000-plus numbers seen in July.
Los Angeles County is still in the strictest level of the state’s four- tier economic-reopening roadmap. The county’s recent testing positivity rate is low enough to qualify the county to move up to a less-restrictive tier, but the average daily number of new cases needs to drop to about 700 per day before any movement will occur.
As of Wednesday, the county’s rate of new cases per 100,000 residents was averaging 7.4, above the limit of 7 needed to move out of the state’s restrictive “purple” tier.
As of today, the number of confirmed infections in West Hollywood has increased by three to 601. The number of people in West Hollywood who have died of COVID-19 related illnesses is still listed as five.
In Beverly Hills, the number of confirmed infections as of today has increased by one to 714. The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Beverly Hills to date 12. The number of COVID-19 infection confirmed among Culver City residents remains at 402. The number of deaths remains at 29. The number of infections in Hollywood has increased by nine to 1,277.. The number of deaths remains at 14. The Melrose neighborhood’s number of infections has increased by eight to 2,009. The number of COVID-19 related deaths is 72.
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’swebsite. Here is a list of links to sections about particular subjects and issues: