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10 L.A. First Responders contracted the COVID-19 virus, most recovered and went back out to the frontlines
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published March 31, 2020

Fire Chief Daryl Osby, L.A. County Fire Department (screenshot)

Tuesday, March 31, the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center addressed protection for the first responders during the Coronavirus pandemic. L.A. County disclosed the collaboration with public and private sectors, along with 88 cities that are in works of increasing COVID-19 testing. L.A. has been working with the city of Lancaster and the High Desert Medical Group to ensure testing takes place in Antelope Valley. There was an update in the COVID-19 data in Los Angeles.

Fire Chief Daryl Osby, established the number one priority of the fire department is the safety and welfare of the community that they serve. As the regional coordinator, Osby has been in contact with all 30 fire departments in L.A. county. He confirmed the updates to emergency response plans are cohesive across the board. There are contingency plans in relation to “trigger points” prepared for the projected progression of the spread of COVID-19. There have been virtual meetings with those on the frontlines, discussing their safety as they face the pandemic head on. In full transparency, the fire fighters expressed the feeling of fear and anxiety.

During the month of March, Chief Daryl’s department responded to 1,070 calls per day. 250 of those calls were coded as potential COVID-19 cases, there have been ten fire fighters that tested positive of COVID-19. Seven of them have recovered and returned to work. The other three are still in isolation. The fire department has implemented tele-medications, this is virtual contact with physicians that they have immediate access to.

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Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health shared the latest updates on the COVID-19 Virus. As of Tuesday, March 31. Over 19,300 people have been tested for COVID-19, and 12% tested positive for the virus. Ferrer shared on Tuesday that there were 10 additional deaths, these individuals were between the age of 41-65. One of the fatal cases reported on Monday was a health care worker, they are the first in the health care occupation that has passed in Los Angeles. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 54. Barbara disclosed that as of March 31. There are 548 new COVID-19 reports, in summary there is a total amount of 3,011 cases in the Los Angeles region. The cases in the L.A. region have more than tripled within a week.

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Public Health (screeshot)

Over the last 48 hours, there has been 890 reports.  These numbers are reflective of 115 cases in Long Beach and 25 reports coming from Pasadena. Approximately 20% of those infected with COVID-19 are hospitalized at some point. Data is reflecting 1.8% of carriers of the Corona Virus have died, which is higher than the general mortality rate for influenza related deaths in the United States.

New guidance came from the CDC, they were described as the national public health department. In the past, “close contacts” were considered those in direct exposure that were symptomatic, the CDC has redefined the term to any contact with a positive carrier of COVID-19 or someone presumed to be positive within 48 hours. This is in light of scientific findings that show people may be spreading the virus before being symptomatic. You can check for these types of updates on the CDC website, cdc.gov.

 

Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local | News
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