JUNE 29, 2020 - Los Angeles County Orders Bars to Close Effective Today, June 29, in Response to Sharp Increase in COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) reported 20 new deaths and 2,542 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. The County announced that it will heed CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive and order bars in Los Angeles County, including all of the City of Malibu, to close as of June 29, according to a press release on June 28. See the press release.
The County Health Officer Order will be amended today to require that all bars, breweries, brew pubs, pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in L.A. County close unless they are offering sit-down dine-in meals. This includes closing bar areas in restaurants.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is guided by science and data and the key metrics monitored are showing concerning trends.
There has been a sharp increase in new cases and hospitalizations. The timing of these increases is in line with the reopening of key sectors, including bars, which are places where people remove their face covering to drink while they may be socializing with people not in their households.
“While it’s disappointing to take a step back on our economic recovery journey, it’s critical that we protect the health of our residents and protect the capacity in our healthcare system,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I implore that our residents and businesses follow the Public Health directives that will keep us healthy, safe and on the pathway to recovery. Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death.”
The State-mandated closing comes as the Department of Public Health is reporting significant increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate.
There are 1,717 people currently hospitalized, higher than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. Testing results are available for over 1,056,000 individuals, with 9% of people testing positive. The cumulative positivity rate has increased from 8% to 9%, and the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.7% today.
Today, Public Health has confirmed 20 new deaths and 2,542 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Fifteen people who died were over the age of 65 years old, four people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Thirteen people had underlying health conditions including 10 people over the age of 65 years old and three people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old.
To date, Public Health has identified 97,894 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,305 deaths. Ninety-four percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 3,076 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 43% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 27% among White residents, 17% among Asian residents, 11% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, 19 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents.
“Many are experiencing the pain and sadness of losing a loved one to COVID-19. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of you,” Ferrer said. “All of us must take immediate actions to stop spreading COVID-19 in our communities. L.A. County residents should stay home as much as possible, but when they are out and around others, it is very important to practice physical distancing and properly wear a cloth face covering at all times.”
Forty-one percent of cases are now among individuals between the ages of 18 and 40. While cases in this age range typically have low risk for serious illness or death, Public Health is concerned they may unknowingly infect parents, grandparents, and friends and family who have underlying health conditions and who are at greater risk for serious illness and death. Everyone must continue to follow physical distancing and infection control directives and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth when in contact with other people not in your household.
The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
For more information, including the current COVID-19 statistics on case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths countywide and per community, see the LADPH press release.