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L.A. COVID-19 Update on testing; Now Accessible for Vast Majority. Over 11,000 tests available per day.
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published April 18, 2020

Clayton Kazan, MD, Medical Director, Fire

Friday, April 17. The Emergency Operations Center announced a partnership with Airbnb, this private factor has partnered with L.A. county to service frontline workers. The Director of Public Health provided an update behind the statistics surrounding the coronavirus. Medical Director, Clayton Kazan shared news around the progress on testing.

Assessing COVID-19 among the nation is of high priority, testing holds the key to the pathway to recovery. Kazan explained the significance in the testing protocols and the new COVID-19 testing locations that will be coming online. The more that is known about the virus, the closer the nation is to flattening the curve.

The city of Los Angeles partnered with Airbnb to supply 1,000 free housing facilities for people working on the frontlines. LA County workers and first responders will be able to stay at no charge; they will be able to work close to their patients and be at a safe distance from their families. This is an example of the power between public and private sectors working together.

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

Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health shared the latest updates on the COVID-19 Virus.  Ferrer shared Friday, April 17. there were 40 additional deaths, 28 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 19 of them with underlining health conditions. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 495.  Barbara disclosed as of April 17. There are 567 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 11,391 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region.

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In the last 48 hours, there have been 966 new positive coronavirus reports. These numbers reflect 406 positive cases in Long Beach and 198 COVID-19 reports coming from Pasadena. Approximately 26% of those infected with COVID-19 are hospitalized at some point. 87% of positive cases that died, had underlining health conditions. Data is reflecting 4.3% of carriers of the coronavirus have died, which is higher than the general mortality rate for influenza related deaths in the United States.

The ethnicity correlation with coronavirus death rates was also disclosed; 16% were African American, 18% were Asian, 34% were Latin, 29% were white, and 3% identified who passed away, were from a different ethnicity. The disproportionate death rate within the African American community was acknowledged. The Public Health Services are working with community partners to address issues related to access to testing and providing accurate information around COVID-19. This includes more accessibility to testing and accurate and updated information available immediately.

Medical Director of L.A. County Fire Department, Clayton Kazan disclosed news around the progress on coronavirus testing. Kazan has been on the assignment to scale up COVID-19 test accessibility since March 18. At the time, there were very limited access to testing, and results had to be processed out of state. Doctors couldn’t order the tests, making it difficult for patients to get access to the needed assessment.

Under Clayton Kazan’s guidance, within the following weeks a coalition was built between the L.A. Unified Coordination Group, Los Angeles public officials, local political board offices, and the Fire Department Incident Management team, along with healthcare stake holders across the L.A. region. With this team in a month’s time, 30 mobile testing sites became available with the capacity of 11,000 tests being issued per day; majority of assessments are processed in the Los Angeles region. Turnaround time is still in progression, but testing is now available to the vast majority. The collaboration will be transferred over to the Los Angeles Public Health Department, now that a solid system is in place.

Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local | News
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