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L.A. Board of Supervisors look to create “Action Plan” to Re-open local Economy; COVID-19 Death Rate Still Rising in African American Communities
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published April 27, 2020

Monday, April 27, the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center supplied new information surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Last week Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kathryn Barger relayed four benchmarks L.A. is looking to reach, before relaxing the Safer at Home Order. This included hospital capacity, accessibility to isolation areas for those positive with coronavirus, and protection for those most susceptible to contract the COVID-19 virus. Director of L.A. Public Health Department, Barbara Ferrer shared the latest data surrounding the coronavirus statistics, the testing results of COVID-19 leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For instance, is Los Angeles still on track to re-open its economy by May 15? What is L.A. County doing to resolve the issue of higher death rates in African American Communities?

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, L.A. County Director, Public Health. (Screenshot)

Dr. Ferrer, disclosed the latest updates surrounding the COVID-19 Virus.  Ferrer shared that Over 123,000 people have been tested for COVID-19, 14% of that population contracted coronavirus. As of Monday, she acknowledged the growing death rate in Los Angeles. There were 29 additional deaths, 25 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 18 of them with underlining health conditions, three people were between the ages of 41-65, with one of them having preexisting health concerns. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 942.

Dr. Ferrer disclosed that as of April 27, there are 900 new coronavirus reports.  These numbers reflect 576 positive cases in Long Beach and 325 COVID-19 reports coming from Pasadena. Approximately 23% of those infected with COVID-19 are hospitalized at some point. 92% of positive cases that died, had underlining health conditions. In summary there 20,417 positive COVID-19 cases in the Los Angeles region. Within the unsheltered community, there were 118 positive coronavirus cases. This includes 68 of the people who were staying at a shelter, they are now appropriately isolated.

The relationship with coronavirus death rates and race and ethnicity were disclosed. For the 865 people who passed away and the race information was collected 14% were African American, 18% were Asian, 1% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 37% were LatinX, 28% were white, and 1% identified who passed away, were from a different race or ethnicity. The disproportionate death rate within the African American and Asian communities were acknowledged. Through a pro-rated formula, the health department determined that African Americans have the highest COVID-19 related death rate than all other races.  An in-depth study presented those who lived below the poverty line, had three times the rate of death from COVID-19.

L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard (Screenshot)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are looking to have a meeting tomorrow, regarding an action plan to meet the four benchmarks they introduced during last week’s L.A. County briefing. The most important goal of the Board of Supervisors is restoring the local economy. Chairwoman Barger in partnership with Supervisor Hilda Solis are proposing a motion that outlines the roadmap to economic recovery. Within this motion, they are looking to develop an Economic Resiliency Task Force, a new design on how local businesses operate, and steps towards reestablishing learning and enrichment activities.  There are no measurable guidelines listing the county’s strategy to combat the rate of deaths due to COVID-19 in African American communities. Within the meeting tomorrow, there is an anticipation for an immediate solution.

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Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local
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