NEWS RELEASE FROM LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, DECEMBER 5, 2020: PUBLIC HEALTH TO MODIFY HEALTH OFFICER ORDER AS ICU CAPACITY FALLS BELOW 15% IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - COVID-19 CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS CONTINUE TO BREAK RECORDS
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 44 new deaths and 8,948 new cases of COVID-19. This is the third consecutive day and fourth time this week the County has surpassed the previous all-time high of new cases. Over the last three days there have been a total of 25,402 new cases reported; a 3-day average of 8,467 daily new cases.
There are 2,769 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the ICU. This is more people hospitalized for COVID-19 than at any point during the pandemic and the fifth consecutive day the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 surpassed the all-time high.
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge and ICU capacity declines in Los Angeles County and across the Southern California Region, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified to align with the State Regional Stay Home Order to prevent crowding and mingling among non-household members and overwhelming our healthcare system.
The State announced a Regional Stay Home Order will go into effect and would remain in effect for at least three weeks in California regions where ICU capacity falls below 15%. According to the State, as of December 5, the Southern California Region has 12.5% staffed adult ICU capacity remaining. The State advises the Order goes into effect Sunday, December 6 at 11:59 p.m. and remains in effect for at least 3 weeks.
Because L.A. County is in the Southern California Region, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified to fully align with additional safety measures across sectors and the required effective date. The Order prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing. The State Regional Stay at Home Order is similar to the existing County Safer at Home Health Offer with additional sector closings.
The following sectors are required to close or remain closed for all operations:
- Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
- Indoor recreational facilities
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Personal care services
- Museums, zoos, and aquariums
- Movie theaters
- Bars, breweries, and distilleries
- Family entertainment centers
- Cardrooms and satellite wagering
- Limited services as defined by the state
- Live audience sports
- Amusement parks
The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:
- Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays for recreational visits at campgrounds will not be permitted.
- Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
- Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores and all common areas closed. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
- Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
- Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery.
- Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
- Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
- Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.
- The Order does not modify existing school guidance. Schools that are open under County protocols can continue to provide in-person instruction as permitted.
The following sectors are allowed to remain open with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:
- Critical infrastructure
- Non-urgent medical and dental care
Everyone in California must adhere to State Health Officer Orders. Counties may be more restrictive than State mandates, but not less restrictive.
To date, Public Health identified 439,408 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,886 deaths. Upon further investigation, 124 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
“To the families and friends experiencing the sorrow of losing of a loved one due to COVID-19, we send you our deepest sympathies” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “This week, almost 49,000 people tested positive for COVID-19. We can anticipate based on our experience, that 10% of newly infected individuals are likely to require hospital care a couple of weeks from now. That translates to close to 5,000 patients, and if even 20% of these patients need care in the ICU, they will require 1,000 staffed ICU beds. This is our likely reality in 2 weeks. And if we all can’t get behind the existing directives to stay home as much as possible and avoid all non-essential activities and places where you are likely to be in contact with non-household members, we are likely to bear witness to one of the worst healthcare crises our county has seen in our lifetime. The reality is we can still prevent the continued increases in people suffering and dying if we focus all of our collective will on doing what we know how to do; this is the time to take care of each other, and to always wear a face covering and keep a physical distance of at least 6-feet when outside and around others."
Of the 44 new deaths reported today, 18 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 11 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 10 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and four people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Thirty-five people who died had underlying health conditions including 15 people over the age of 80 years old, nine people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, eight people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and three people between the ages of 30 and 49 years. One death was reported City of Pasadena.
Ninety-three percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 7,444 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 14% among Asian residents, 9% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.
Testing results are available for nearly 3,870,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
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.