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Los Angeles Responds to High Demand for Testing Availability; DHS Looks to Open New Testing Sites in Disproportionate Areas
By Betti Halsell Contributing Writer
Published July 15, 2020

Christina Ghaly, MD, Director, Health Services. (Screen Shot)

Wednesday, July 15, Los Angeles Public Officials disclose new updates regarding the escalation of positive COVID-19 in the County. This week the community has seen closures of businesses and outdoor activity since the numbers have spiked, new orders from the state has cause alternations to take place within the Safer at Home Order.

There is a critical need for plan to accommodate the rise in demand for testing, Los Angeles Director of Health Services Christina Ghaly shared what the county plans to do to meet increase testing capacity. There will be new testing sites coming line in East Los Angeles Community College, El Monte, and the Pomona Fairplex. The city of Azusa, Montebello, and South Gate will also have new testing areas in the coming week.

The symptoms of COVID-19 seem to range in different hosts. Supervisor Hilda Solis shared details of a specific individual experiencing blood clots, seizures, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Los Angeles is in critical condition and all residents are advised to remain vigilant and in the house whenever possible.

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Conversations are being had around school sectors reopening; the final decision will be left in the hands of each school district. Public officials stress the precaution needed to consider putting both students and faculty at risk. Solis Stated, “This virus is unpredictable, so unfortunately we need to adapt and do so quickly. If a district is not able to comply with the safety protocols and if there is too much community transmission, then it should continue in distance learning.”

The Los Angeles Public Health department has been monitoring all the state ordered benchmarks throughout this pandemic, there has been concerning spikes in multiple measurements including hospitalization, community transmission, and death rates. July 14 had record breaking numbers in new positive cases reported. There were 73 fatal cases recorded, which is slightly less than the highest report of 76 deaths in May.

Latest numbers surrounding coronavirus shared on July 15, reflected 44 additional deaths, 27 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 25 of them with underlining health conditions. 13 people who died were between the ages of 41-65, eight victims had preexisting health concerns. one individual was below the age of 40, with underlining medical conditions, this brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 3,932.

The relationship between COVID-19 infection and ethnicity were provided. The racial background collected from 3,598 fatal cases shown 11% were African American, 16% were Asian, slightly less than 1% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 45% were LatinX, 26% were white, and 1% identified as a different race or ethnicity. 93% of those who died due to COVID-19 had preexisting health concerns.

Ferrer disclosed on Wednesday, there were 2,758 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 143,009 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region. 5,849 incidents were reported in the city of Long Beach and 1,580 cases in the city of Pasadena. Amid the unsheltered, there were 833 positive cases, 303 victims were temporarily housed in a shelter and have been properly isolated.

Department of Health Services are working swiftly to cover areas that are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. There is a “geographically approach” to add new testing site locations. Test results are showing that the Black and LatinX community are experience more fatal cases than other ethnicities.

Access to testing is a factor DHS has considered and are looking to respond to those gaps with a demographic- based lens based off the data that is portraying a surge in certain communities. Ghaly stated, “With that in mind, we are expanding the county’s testing sites by 65% over the next couple of weeks with the entirety of that expansion focused on areas of high need.”

Categories: COVID-19 | Local | News
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