Los Angeles County reported 1,030 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths Sunday, bringing the county’s totals to 240,749 cases and 5,769 fatalities.
Both daily numbers are lower than they’ve been for July and most of August.
The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus also continues to steadily decline, dropping from 1,116 Saturday to 1,089 Sunday — well below last month, when the number regularly topped 2,000. Of the hospitalized patients in Los Angeles County, 32% are in intensive care, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Despite the declining numbers, the department continued to warn residents not to become lax in following preventive guidelines, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing.
“I extend my deepest sympathies to all those who are experiencing loss and sorrow associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and my wishes for a complete recovery to those who are sick and hospitalized with COVID-19,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
“It is evident we are making progress, and this is a testament to the collective efforts of so many. As we evaluate how to best continue our recovery journey without experiencing the spikes we saw in July, we need to consider the magnitude of increased exposures created with each sector re-opening. Moving forward, especially in a county as large as ours, requires a thoughtful assessment of what measures are in place to protect residents and employees. Whether we are looking at how to best support school children, or hair salon operators, we have to move forward responsibly since there is no path to economic recovery without slowing the spread of COVID-19. Not respecting the seriousness of the pandemic only makes it harder to open up more of our county.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released a revised system for tracking counties’ efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and providing guidance on possible reopening of more businesses and schools.
But the county stressed that local officials had not yet fully reviewed the new state guidance, and the local health order has not been changed to allow such businesses to reopen.
“We extend our condolences to all who are grieving the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, and may peace and comfort find you during this difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health.
“In order for our county to move through the state’s tier structure which will allow us to reopen more businesses, we must slow the COVID-19 transmission rates we are seeing,” Ferrer said. “Currently, we are in Tier 1 with widespread community transmission and an average of about 13 new cases a day per 100,000 residents. This tier carries the most restrictions for the re-opening of many sectors. To demonstrate reduced spread of the virus and move to Tier 2, we need to reduce our transmission rate to 7 new cases a day per 100,000 residents.”
“…For everyone throwing or attending parties, hanging out in crowded spaces, or insisting that the public health rules don’t apply to you or your business, your actions make it much more likely that we remain in Tier 1 for many weeks to come; this makes it harder for our children to get back to school and for many adults to get back to work.”
The health department on Friday also confirmed another three local cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, in children, bringing the total to 28. The syndrome affects primarily children, but can be found in people up to age 20, resulting in inflammation of body parts including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin eyes and gastrointestinal organs, potentially having life-long health impacts.
There have not been any deaths from the syndrome reported in L.A. County.