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L.A. Public Officials Collaborate with USC Research Program; Results show Extreme Increase in COVID-19 Case Rate
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published April 20, 2020

Neeraj Sood, PhD, professor & vice dean for research and faculty affairs at the USC Price School of Public Policy & a founding member the USC Schaeffer Center. (screenshot)

Monday, April 20. Los Angeles City Officials welcomed lead researcher Neeraj Sood from University of Southern California. He provided in depth scientific research about COVID-19. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health disclosed updated statistics surrounding the coronavirus outbreak happening across the Los Angeles Region. The results from the research conducted by USC discovered that L.A. is still in the preliminary stages of the pandemic.

Neeraj Sood is a professor and vice dean of faculty affairs and research at USCPrice (Sol Price of Public Policy.) His expertise includes infectious diseases, health care costs, global health, and economic epidemiology. He is currently leading a study on COVID-19 in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department. This is a public and private collaboration between USC and the L.A. County. There were two important findings; 4.1% out of the 800 individuals tested were positive with COVID-19. Sood applied that finding to the Los Angeles’ population of eight million. The results showed approximately 320,000 people had the coronavirus before testing was available. Comparing this to the confirmed cases in L.A. County, the number of true infections is forty times larger than what is currently confirmed. The implication is that Los Angeles is still in the early stages of the pandemic, there is still a projected increase on the horizon. There is an initiative for more testing and revising the tests used to be more accurate in  findings.

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

Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health disclosed the latest updates on the COVID-19 Virus.  Ferrer shared Monday, April 20. there were 17 additional deaths, 13 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 11 of them with underlining health conditions. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 617.  Barbara disclosed as of April 20. There are 1,491 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 13,816 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region.

Approximately 25% 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 were acknowledged, based off the reports that shared the racial background. 16% were African American, 17% were Asian, 36% were Latin, 28% were white, and 3% identified who passed away, were from a different ethnicity. 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 information available immediately.

Through the consistent research and observation, Los Angeles is on the right path to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. As more information comes to light about the virus, the closer the city of L.A. is constructing a new normal and developing a strategy that will guide Public officials’  future decisions.

Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local
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