Thursday, May 21, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors delivered news regarding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public officials are looking to hear from business experts from diverse working industries; to get an idea around what specific health protocols will be implemented in order to adhere to the physical distancing guidelines as the economy looks to open by July 4. The county is looking for the balance in opening the workforce safely and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Los Angeles Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer disclosed the latest numbers behind the positive cases of coronavirus and the fluctuating death rate due to COVID-19.
Many Angelenos are still struggling with food security, Supervisor Solis highlighted Pandemic relief assistance that’s available, Emergency Benefits Transfer Program or Pandemic-EBT can be applied for on ca.p-ebt.org. It is a state managed resource that provides up to $365 of additional food benefits per child. Specialized for families with children, students qualify for free or reduced price for school meals. Those who receive CALfresh, CalWorks, Medi-Cal, or in foster care are automatically eligible and should be receiving additional benefits soon.
Ferrer disclosed as of May 21, there were 1,204 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 42,037 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region. 1,400 incidents were reported in the city of Long Beach and 784 cases in the city of Pasadena. The statistics among the unsheltered community report 323 positive cases, 166 individuals were staying at a shelter and properly isolated.
As of Thursday, May 21, there were 46 additional deaths, 28 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 20 of them with underlining health conditions. 12 people who died were between the ages of 41-65, 10 of these victims had preexisting health concerns. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 2,016. 15% 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.
The relationship between COVID-19 effects and ethnicity were disclosed. The racial background was collected for 1,863 fatal cases, 12% were African American, 17% were Asian, 1% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 39% were LatinX, 29% were white, and 1% identified as a different race or ethnicity. 92% of those who died due to COVID-19 had preexisting health concerns.
Los Angeles begins to plant new seeds into the recovery stages, hope started to show within the numbers. As the city reflects the curve is flattening; hospital capacity and volume of occupancy in I.C.U. units has remained stable for a long period of time since the outbreak; these indicators has allowed Los Angeles to start on the pathway to recovery. The city’s economy is on the rise towards progression because there is the need for financial stability. Public officials acknowledged that COVID-19 has magnified the struggle within underserved communities. The goal is to find a new way to equality and recovery, at a safe distance. Supervisor Hilda Solis stated, “Economic recovery cannot come at the expense of more lives,” Solis continued, “Especially when we consider our communities of color are disproportionately impacted by this virus.”