Monday, March 30, Los Angeles city officials publicized latest updates surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The county has partnered with local cities to secure additional hotels and motels to be used for multiple functions at this time. The Los Angeles tax collector and treasurer disclosed more information about payment arrangements for property tax, as we approach the deadline on April 10. The Emergency Operations center remains to be the focal resource for information during this time of crisis.
Keith Knox, L.A. Treasurer and tax collector addressed the calls and emails regarding the property tax deadline happening on April 10. There is a general inquiry if that deadline will be extended in light of the COVID-19 Virus. Knox disclosed that the deadline is set by state law and the L.A. treasury office does not have the authority to have the due date extended. Keith Knox recalled a long history of working with the board of supervisors; they have been flexible in the time of hardship and crisis. The L.A. Tax collector shared that property owners that are being affected by COVID-19 will have the option to have late penalties waived. Although that may be available, Keith Knox expressed, “This is a critical source of revenue, that keeps the government running..” It directly affects the emergency response, public health and hospitals, and our school system. Those who can pay, are encouraged to pay the property tax by April 10. Those that need the assistance can apply online for the late penalties to be waived beginning April 11. The day after the property deadline.
Over the last 48 hours, there has been 686 reports. These numbers are reflective of 99 cases in Long Beach and 10 reports coming from Pasadena. 492 positive cases, which is approximately 22% 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. The Public Health director stated, “These are extraordinary times, I want everyone to note that we need to be prepared for this to go on, for a while to come.”
The officer of Emergency management, Kevin McGowan expressed the county’s goal is to provide an additional 2,000 medical sheltering beds to patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. The L.A. County has been partnering with hotel and motel owners, along with recreational vehicle organizations to bring more assets that can be available for the county assistance. As a result with these merges, 900 additional beds have become vacant through out the Los Angeles region.
The public of health services presented an overview of the availability in hospital beds and projected hospital surge capacity. The county has approximately 82 acute care hospitals, with 22,000 beds available. Personal protective equipment is being distributed from state and national stock piles on a weekly basis. All public and private hospitals are preparing their surge operations. The arrival of the U.S. Naval ship, “The Mercy” docked on Friday. This ship made 1,000 additional beds available for acute medical services, with 80 of those beds suitable for intensive care. This past weekend The Mercy started to accept patients. It’s available for those checked into the hospital, but are not infected with the COVID-19 virus. This ship is a vital part of the surge plan, it’s geared to offload hospitals of non-corona virus patients from the general medical locations.
Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health shared the latest updates on the COVID-19 Virus. As of Sunday, March 29. Over 15,500 people have been tested for COVID-19, and 12% tested positive for the virus. Ferrer shared on Monday that there were 7 additional deaths, these individuals were between the age of 45-65 with pre-existing health conditions. Six of these fatal cases, were from a nursing home. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 44. Barbara disclosed that as of March 30. There are 342 new COVID-19 reports, in summary there is a total amount of 2,474 cases in the Los Angeles region.