The Labor Day holiday is coming up and Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis hopes it won’t be a repeat of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July in terms of COVID-19 transmission.
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a color-coded tiered system for the state, which outlines certain criteria each county must meet in order to reopen certain businesses and allow schools to reopen, as well.
As of Monday, Los Angeles County remained in Tier One of the plan, outlined in purple and deemed widespread. That means there are more than seven daily new cases per 100,000 people and more than 8% of test results are positive. It also means that most non-essential indoor business operations are closed.
The second tier, outlined in red and deemed substantial, would mean some non-essential indoor business operations must remain closed. It also means there are between four and seven cases per 100,000 people and the positivity rate is between 5 and 8%.
The third tier, deemed substantial and outlined in orange, would allow some business operations to open with modifications. The new cases in that tier are between one and 3.9 per 100,000 and the positivity rate sits between 2 and 4.9%.
And the fourth tier, outlined in yellow and deemed minimal, would see most business operations open with modifications, less than one case per 100,000 and the positivity rate at less than 2%.
“Los Angeles County is currently in Tier One,” Davis said. “There continue to be widespread cases in Los Angeles County. We are at 13 new cases per 100,000 people per day, which is double what it should be.”
Despite the new case rate remaining higher than it should be, the percentage of positive cases is at 5%, which is good news and falls into Tier Two. However, the high number of cases suggests there is widespread transmission of the virus.
Davis said when a county falls in two different tiers, as Los Angeles does, the state places that county in the most restrictive tier, which is why LA county is still in Tier One.
He said Latinx and Black people continue to suffer from the virus at higher rates than whites and other races. In addition, those in poor areas of the county also continue to die from the virus in disproportionate numbers.
Davis reported an additional 16 deaths during his Monday briefing. Of those, eight were over the age of 80 and seven of them had underlying health conditions; two were between 65-79 and they both had underlying health conditions; four were between 50-64 and one had underlying health conditions; two were between 30-49 and one had underlying health conditions. That brings the total number of deaths in Los Angeles County to 5,784.
Of the total, 94% had underlying health conditions, which means 7% did not.
Davis also reported 1,022 new cases, bringing the total to 241,768 in Los Angeles County — this includes 10,492 in Long Beach and 2,368 in Pasadena.
There are also a total of 1,583 among the homeless, of which 441 have been referred to isolation and quarantine sites. A total of 40 deaths have been reported in homeless people who have contracted COVID-19.
In addition, there are currently 1,043 confirmed hospitalizations due to the virus, of which 33% are in ICU and 19% are on ventilators.
“As we’re coming up on Labor Day weekend, it’s likely to be a hot weekend, so take precautions to keep cool,” Davis said. He also offered the following tips on staying safe through the holiday:
• Hang out with members of your household. Explore a new trail, picnic at a park or enjoy the beach early in the day.
• Wear a cloth face covering when outside your home/ in public and around others.
• Avoid crowds; Be flexible with your plans and move to a different location if you can’t easily keep at least six feet (more than three steps) away from others.
• Avoid confined spaces. The risk of transmitting COVID-19 is higher, especially in indoor spaces where people may not be wearing face coverings or keeping their distance from others.
• If you are sick or have been exposed, stay home and away from others (self-isolate or self-quarantine).
Here are the latest number of cases and deaths in the Antelope Valley:
*Lancaster: 2,903 cases and 39 deaths
Palmdale: 3,610 cases and 57 deaths
Acton: 60 cases, two deaths
Agua Dulce: 24 cases and no deaths
Desert View Highlands: 42 cases, one death
Lake Hughes: Two cases, no deaths
Lake Los Angeles: 194 cases and four deaths
Leona Valley: 17 cases and no deaths
Littlerock: 78 cases and no deaths
Littlerock/Juniper Hills: Eight cases and no deaths
Littlerock/Pearblossom: 79 cases and no deaths
Llano: Three cases and no deaths
Pearblossom/Llano: 19 cases and one death
Quartz Hill: 146 cases and 11 deaths
California City: 97 cases, 43 recovered, six presumed recovered
Edwards: 12, three recovered, two presumed recovered
Rosamond: 224 cases, 97 recovered, 24 presumed recovered
Tehachapi: 1,010 cases, 464 recovered, 18 presumed recovered
*These numbers include cases associated with correctional facility outbreaks.