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L.A. District Attorney Cracks Down on Scammers and Price Gauging in the midst of COVID-19 Pandemic
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published April 17, 2020

L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey (screenshot)

Thursday, April 16. The L.A. Board of Supervisors welcomed District attorney, Jackie Lacey to disclose information from the district attorney office surrounding the spread of COVID-19. The Director of public health provided updated statistics behind the pandemic that has affected every part of the L.A. City structure.

Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health shared the latest updates on the COVID-19 Virus.  Ferrer shared Thursday, April 16. there were 55 additional deaths, 43 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 39 of them with underlining health conditions. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 455.  Barbara disclosed as of April 16. There are 399 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 10,854 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region.

In the last 48 hours, there have been 871 new positive coronavirus reports. These numbers reflect 379 positive cases in Long Beach and 184 COVID-19 reports coming from Pasadena. Of these new cases, 33 individuals tested positive are unsheltered. Approximately 26% of those infected with COVID-19 are hospitalized at some point. 88% of positive cases that died, had underlining health conditions. Data is reflecting 4.2% of carriers of the coronavirus have died, which is higher than the general mortality rate for influenza related deaths in the United States.

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The ethnicity relationship with coronavirus death rates was also identified; 16% were African American, 17% were Asian, 33% were Latin, 31% were white, and 3% identified who passed away, were from a different ethnicity. The disproportionate death rate within the African American community has been recognized. The Public Health Services are working with community partners to address issues related to access to testing and providing accurate information around COVID-19.

L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey disclosed that her office has been working closely with local criminal justice partners to make sure “victim rights are protected, and justice is well served.” Jackie Lacey has directed her deputy district attorneys to consider both the public safety and health risk in every decision made. This department is looking to assist with low risk, non-violent people who are in jail. 3,500 assessments have transpired to determine who can be safely released from correctional facilities considering COVID-19. Defendants facing severe charges such as murder, will not be considered for release.

The Los Angeles District Attorney Office are looking for ways to reduce their presence in court houses; one solution has been to hold virtual court hearings. This department continue to provide services to crime victims such as restitution, food, and shelter. Child and Domestic abuse cases are still being processed. There has been a decrease in these types of crimes being reported.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health (screenshot)

The Los Angeles District Attorney Office is also handling crimes such as scams or price gauging. Price gauging is when merchants take essential equipment that would be in high demand during a pandemic and set the price point way beyond the original cost of goods, for instance a 12-pack of toilet paper for $16.00. Scammers are using the fear behind COVID-19 to manipulate and steal personal information from those who are vulnerable. Every department of L.A. County has their own unique milestone coronavirus delivered. Los Angeles public officials and essential partners work extensively to create a sense of normalcy within this time of confusion and havoc.

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Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local
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