Returning to Summer COVID-19 Rates
Last week, Los Angeles County remained at Tier 1 of the State’s Blueprint. Meanwhile, the County experienced a rise in COVID-19 metrics to levels not seen since the summer. In a press release issued on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, the County Department of Public Health announced 22 new deaths, 817 people hospitalized and 1,843 new cases, and noted that the “number of new cases surpasses the high daily numbers seen in the past two weeks and is the highest number of new cases not associated with backlog cases reported since late-August.” In addition, L.A. County’s seven-day average of coronavirus cases has also increased from approximately 940 new cases per day in early October to more than 1,275 cases per day as of last week. As of Sunday, November 8, 2020, the County had reported daily counts of over 2,000 new cases per day for four consecutive days, with a high mark of 2,238 cases on Sunday.
The County has experienced an increase in workplace outbreaks (defined as three or more cases at a worksite in a 14-day period). In a press release issued on Thursday, November 5, 2020, the County Department of Public Health stated:
During the two-week period of September 6 through September 19, there were 23 outbreaks in non-healthcare and non-residential workplaces, the lowest number of worksite outbreaks since June. During the two-week period from October 4 through October 17, the number of worksite outbreaks increased to 40.
In addition, over the course of last week, the County’s seven-day testing average rose to 3.8%, up 0.5% since the prior week and the largest jump in several months. The County’s transmission rate also rose above 1.0, indicating the likelihood of additional community transmission.
As of November 2, 2020, the County Department of Public Health received 210 applications from schools for waivers to open for grades TK-2 for in-person learning; as of that date, 29 waiver approvals have been issued and 45 additional schools have been submitted to the State for final approval.
As of November 4, 2020, 1,463 schools were offering in-person learning for high-need students; more than 65,000 students and more than 28,000 staff have returned for on-site learning.
Finally, the Department of Public Health, along with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, will host the virtual Los Angeles County Parent Town Hall Event on COVID-19 and Schools on November 9, from 6 to 7 p.m. The discussion will include steps taken to protect children returning to school, the reopening process and school waivers, and will include a live Q&A with parents. Additional information is available here.
On Wednesday, November 4, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council passed and the Mayor signed into law an ordinance authorizing businesses to refuse patrons not wearing a face covering. The law will sunset once the COVID-19 states of emergency are lifted.