To date, Public Health has identified 8,430 cases across all areas of LA County, including 241 deaths. Upon further investigation, 22 cases and two deaths reported earlier were not LA County residents. As of today, 2,043 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (24% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Testing capacity continues to increase in LA county, with almost 40,700 individuals tested and 15% of people testing positive.
A new Health Officer Order is being issued that extends the stipulation in the previous Health Officer Order through May 15, 2020. The Order also requires essential businesses to provide a cloth face covering for all of their employees to wear while performing duties that involve contact with other employees and or the public and to post their physical distancing plans. The public is also required to wear a face covering to enter essential businesses. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit remain prohibited. Beaches, trails and trailheads and non-essential businesses remain closed. It is critical that everyone continue to take these actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Order allows essential businesses to implement the new measures by April 15.
"We are heartbroken by the loss of life we are reporting today and send our sincere condolences to every person affected by these losses,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Recent data modeling done in partnership with the Department of Health Services and UCLA suggests that our collective distancing efforts are working and that we must continue to stay home whenever possible. The updated Health Officer Order extends 'Safer at Home' through May 15, and enhances measures that will protect employees who are working in essential services."
The best community and individual defense against COVID-19 is to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid being around sick people, practice physical distancing, especially by staying at home, and wear a face covering when out in the public procuring or providing essential services. N95 and surgical masks should only be used by healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers providing care for people who are ill, and people who are ill.
Public Health has issued the following guidance for people with mild illness during this time of increased spread:
- If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days and until 72 hours after being fever and symptom free. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant may be at higher risk of serious illness and should contact their doctor early if they are sick.
Additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov .