By Jo Erlinda Maufit
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has noted a significant increase in the number of people hospitalized each day for COVID-19 illness.
At press time, there were 528 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized; last Monday, there were 372 people hospitalized and on June 15, there were 218 people hospitalized.
“Unfortunately, because cases increased 700% since June 15, we are now beginning to see corresponding increases in hospitalizations,” the department pointed out in a statement sent to Philippine News Today.
With the new cases, test positivity increased 10-fold from the 0.4% on June 15 to 4.8% at press time.In another report, the department confirmed 1,821 new cases of COVID-19; nearly 8,500 new cases in the last five days have been confirmed in L.A. County.
The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 illness continues to increase each day. There are 544 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 22% of these people are in the ICU. Two weeks ago, there were 273 people hospitalized with COVID-19 illness.To date, Public Health identified 1,270,886 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,587 deaths. Testing results are available for nearly 7,190,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive.
Due to the significant increased circulation of the more infectious Delta variant, the intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown, and the risks to the almost 4 million people in L.A. County who have not been or are not eligible to be vaccinated, including 1.3 million children under 12 years of age, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order was modified to require masking for everyone while indoors, regardless of vaccination status to prevent increased COVID-19 spread.
Masking for everyone while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, went in to effect on Saturday at 11:59 p.m. in all indoor public places, venues, gatherings, and businesses (including offices, retail, restaurants, gyms, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, and state and local government offices serving the public).
Standard exceptions apply for children under the age of two, for those with certain medical conditions or disabilities that prevent masking, and for those whose job doesn’t permit masking, the department said.
The department said it is working closely with worksites and businesses so that they have the tools needed to ensure that their employees and customers are adhering to the indoor masking requirement.Department of Public Health inspectors continue to visit sites regularly to address questions and concern, ensure compliance with Cal/OSHA standards and the Health Officer Order, and also respond to complaints of non-compliance.
The Department of Public Health utilizes education and information sharing as the primary step in gaining compliance. “When compliance is not achieved at worksites and businesses, enforcement may include issuance of a notice of violation or a citation,” the department said.
Violations of safety requirements and dangerous conditions can be reported anonymously to the Department of Public Health by phone at 888-700-9995 or online at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.The department confirmed 1,233 new cases of COVID-19 and deaths.
Of the two new deaths reported, one person that passed away was over the age of 80 and one person who passed was between the ages of 65 and 79. The number of cases and deaths likely reflect reporting delays over the weekend. To date, the Department of Public Health identified 1,269,090 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,585 deaths.
Testing results are available for more than 7,182,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive.”To everyone who have lost someone to COVID-19, our hearts and our deepest condolences go out to you,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “L.A. County continues to see alarming trends of increased community spread. The spread of the more infectious Delta variant through intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown has caused a rapid spread of COVID-19 that is resulting in a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations.””
“By wearing masks indoors at public places and worksites, we can get back to slowing the spread of the virus,” Ferrer said. ” Many businesses and worksites are doing their part by posting signs and asking employees and customers to mask up while indoors. Please do you part and cooperate.””
If you are not yet vaccinated, please know that we need you to take extra precautions. Since vaccines remain the most powerful tool for reducing spread, now is the time to get your vaccine. We need to bring down transmission rates so that when schools open next month, there is much less risk,” Ferrer stressed.
At County-run vaccination sites, LA City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, everyone 18 and older coming to get a vaccine will have an opportunity to win one of seven packages of tickets to family fun at the Staples Center, including performances by the Harlem Globetrotters, Disney on Ice, and the Gold Over America tour starring Simone Biles. Official rules and participating site locations are posted online on the Los Angeles County Vaccination Sweepstakes page. Winners will be contacted by phone and/or email.
To find a vaccination site near you, make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). If you don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or you’re over 65, you can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.