L.A. Public Officials delivered news surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. There have been positive signs in recent reports, the public health department remains “cautiously hopeful” as new statistics reflect lower hospitalizations and decrease in average daily cases. Although the county saw a bit of regression within the previous month, August has been showing solidarity. The L.A. Board of supervisors continue to look for ways to adapt to this new normal for facilities such as places of worship, they requested the supreme court to support outdoor church services.

1- Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Public Health (screen shot)

Director of Los Angeles Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer updated the county on the case of disproportionate rates of severity within communities of color. She referred to a model that showed the total number of cases, hospitalizations, and mortality rates by race and ethnicity. The numbers foreshadowed accumulative rates that were captured since the health department began the investigation. It reflected a spike in the rate of cases happening in July, affecting Brown and Black communities on a higher scale.

Recent statistics shown on Wednesday reflect 61 additional deaths, 26 of these individuals were over the age of 80, 17 of them had underlining health conditions. 20 people who died were between the ages of 65-79, 14 victims had preexisting health concerns. Six individuals were between the ages of 50-64, and four of them had underlining health problems.  Three people who passed were between the ages of 30-49, all of them had previous medical issues.  One person passed away and were between the ages of 18-29, with no underlining health issues. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in L.A. County to 5,392.

There were 1,956 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 225,827 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region. 9,795 incidents were reported in the city of Long Beach and 2,248 cases in the city of Pasadena. Amid the unsheltered, there were 1,380 positive cases. 92% of those who died due to COVID-19 had preexisting health concerns.

Sun Valley Church has been placed under scrutiny after violating health officer orders. Places of worship are permitted to gather outdoors. The L.A. Board of Supervisors addressed the issue by stating, “Los Angeles County is working around the clock to contain and slow a deadly virus that has killed more than 5,000 of our residents and made thousands of others gravely ill. Most residents, businesses and institutions are following the Health Officer Orders, demonstrating the care and compassion for our neighbors that is so urgently needed at this difficult time.”

The Board continued to outline the severity of the COVID-19 transmission by explaining the process of going to the Supreme Court as their “last resort,” since the Sun Valley church continued to have large indoor congregations.

The numbers reflected Black and Brown residents are most likely to have been working essential industries with little prevention of spread. This factor became pronounced during the July spike. Ferrer stated, “It’s only by working together that we can continue to implement the solutions and take the actions that we need to take to reduce the devastating impact of this pandemic.”