Friday, June 5, Public officials shared the latest news behind the COVID-19 Pandemic. Due to recent events around the city, some testing sites were closed. The safety of county residents reside in how the community abides by the safety measures that are in place. Social distancing is still the predominant source of defense to combat the spread of COVID-19. The county continues to take precautionary steps towards recovery.

Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Chair Pro Tem, First District (screen shot)

Life has changed abruptly and its been hard for everyone, but Supervisor Solis acknowledged the hardest who have been hit are people of color. Currently the unemployment rate within the white community has gone down from 14.2% to 12.4% , in comparison to the black community the rate went up from 16.7% to 16.8%, the unemployment rate also increased among LatinX and Asian communities.

latest numbers surrounding coronavirus shared on Friday, June 5, reflected 36 additional deaths, 25 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 22 of them with underlining health conditions. nine people who died were between the ages of 41-65, six victims had preexisting health concerns. One person was younger than 41 passed away, they also had underlining health conditions. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 2,565. 14% of all positive cases were hospitalized at some point. Fatal cases within congregational settings such as assistant living represent 52% of overall COVID-19 deaths. 94% of those who died due to COVID-19 had preexisting health concerns.

Ferrer disclosed as of June 5, there were 1,445 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 61,045 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region. 2,160 incidents were reported in the city of Long Beach and 968 cases in the city of Pasadena. Ferrer stated we should see the case numbers go up, due to the availability in testing will increase.  It would be very hard to track the epidemic if there were limited access to testing sites in Los Angeles. Amid the unsheltered, there were 447 positive cases, 201 victims were temporarily housed in a shelter and have been properly isolated. There have been two additional deaths among people who are experiencing homelessness due to COVID-19. There has been a total amount of 13 deaths among this population.

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Public Health. (Screen shot)

The relationship between COVID-19 infection and ethnicity were provided. The racial background collected from 2,373 fatal cases shown 12% were African American, 18% were Asian, 1% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 41% were LatinX, 28% were white, and 1% identified as a different race or ethnicity. The rates are analyzed per 100,000 people, the county makes comparisons across the population. This clarifies the impact in each ethnicity, the death rate within African Americans is 31 deaths per 100,000 people. In comparison to the white community, there are 15 deaths per 100,000 people.  Among latinX there is 29 deaths per 100,000 persons, and for people who are Asian there are 21 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Ferrer disclosed a model that shows the number of excess deaths within each ethnicity group. In short, the model gives each group the statistics found within the white community and calculates the excess deaths that may have happened. The results concluded if everyone shared the same statistics within the white ethnicity, Los Angeles would see 754 fewer deaths.

Supervisor Hilda Solis acknowledged the grief within black communities due to the injustices that repetitively happen throughout American history; the most recent being the murder of George Floyd. Solis stated, “The protests that swept United States are in direct response to the injustices black communities face every single day.”  Solis spoke about the need for change, accountability, and justice.

Ferrer stated, “When you look at this data by community poverty levels, we see that people who live in areas with high rates of poverty have almost four times the rate of deaths due to COVID-19.”  The increase in unemployment rate indicates growth in poverty within the black community, which contributes to the death rate due to COVID-19. This feeds the disproportionate deaths that are happening within African American Angelenos. Digging deeper into accountability, the cycle for systemic racism is clearly being shown as part of a public health concern, in which that department could have more involvement.