L.A. City and County COVID-19 Weekly Update (June 29, 2020)

California COVID-19 Guidance: Week in Review

Increasing Cases

Last week saw a rise in the number of cases reported in L.A. County, with over 2,000 new cases on five separate days. On Sunday, June 28, Governor Newsom ordered bars in L.A. and six other counties to close due to rising COVID-19 indicators. More information here. Beyond the bar closure, neither the County nor the City has taken additional steps to slow or reverse their reopening plans.

On Monday, June 22, L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted that community transmission is likely rising and “while many of us are done with this virus, the virus is unfortunately not done with us.” She reiterated the importance of taking safety precautions, even as the County continues to reopen.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a similar warning at a press conference on Wednesday, June 24, highlighting the continued threat and problematic trends from COVID-19. He noted that the rate of infection is on the rise for individuals ages 18–40, and that this group now makes up 40% of all new infections. He also noted that while the number of hospitalizations had been steady, it has gone up recently.

According to L.A. County Director of the Department of Health Services Dr. Christina Ghaly, overall hospital capacity remains sufficient to meet current projected increases. However, the number of available ICU beds remains more at risk, largely due to non-COVID cases needing ICU care.

Last week, the City scaled up the number of tests being conducted daily, from 7,700 to 13,700. As of Friday, June 26, over 1 million tests had been conducted in L.A. County.

L.A. County Budget

On Thursday, June 25, the L.A. County Chief Executive Officer released her first revised budget proposal for fiscal year 2020–21. The proposal reduces spending by 8% overall, largely due to reduced revenue as a result of COVID-19. The budget proposal makes cuts to public safety, with over 400 layoffs and $162 million in reductions to the Sheriff’s Department’s $3.3 billion budget. The proposed budget includes an 8% across-the-board cut for all departments financed by “net county cost,” money primarily from sales tax and other “locally generated revenue.” Across all county departments, the budget cuts would result in the elimination of 3,251 positions—2,596 vacant and 655 potential layoffs.

The budget will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Monday, June 29.

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