Updated December 14, 2022


On Wednesday, Public Health confirmed 16 new deaths and 4,211 new cases of COVID-19 – including 23 new cases in Boyle Heights and 58 new cases in East Los Angeles.

As of Wednesday, Public Health had identified 3,592,066 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 34,368 deaths. 

On Wednesday, Public Health put the total of coronavirus cases in Boyle Heights at 39,055 and the new total for East Los Angeles at 56,917.

Public Health said Boyle Heights numbers include cases associated with correctional facility outbreaks located in the community.

These are the numbers, and increases, reported in the last seven days:

WednesdayBH 39055 (+23)*ELA 56917 (+58)
TuesdayBH 39032 (13)*ELA 56859 (+14)
MondayBH 39019 (+44)*ELA 56845 (+102)
FridayBH 38975 (+33)*ELA 56743 (+44)
ThursdayBH 38942 (+41)*ELA 56699 (+49)
*These numbers include cases associated with correctional facility outbreaks.

As of Wednesday, the County’s database showed one new death in Boyle Heights and two new deaths in East Los Angeles. As of Wednesday, County data showed a total of 384 deaths in Boyle Heights and 560 deaths in the neighboring unincorporated country area of East Los Angeles.

The adjusted death rate (number of cases per 100,000 residents) is lower in East LA than in Boyle Heights: it’s 529 east of Indiana and 543 in BH.

The data is available in the County’s interactive dashboard  that also provides detailed information on testing, cases and deaths.

March 01, 2021


On Monday, three additional workers became eligible for the vaccine. These include education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, and emergency service workers and law enforcement.

Los Angeles County is working to make sure eligible residents are workers in the most impacted communities have greater access to vaccines.

According to LA Public Health, the County’s network of vaccination sites have the capacity for 500,000 appointments, although they only received enough doses for 270,000 appointments.

Almost 1,960,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across LA County and 600,497 of those vaccinated have received second doses.

January 16, 2021


On Saturday, Los Angeles County surpassed one million total confirmed COVID-19 cases. Public Health identified 1,003,923 positive cases of COVID-19 across Los Angeles County.

Public Health also confirmed the first case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant that was discovered in the United Kingdom, in an individual who was recently in Los Angeles County.

Public Health believes that this U.K variant is already spreading in the county. This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants, however there is no evidence that it causes more sever illness or increased risk of death.

Public Health stresses the importance of properly wearing a mask, physically distancing, and avoiding gatherings with people from outside your household.

December 14, 2020


On Monday, Public Health reported the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Los Angeles County. The expected initial allocation is 82,875 doses in Los Angeles and two additional allocations are anticipated in December. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and EMS have been working with the nine prepositioned sites, where the vaccines have been shipped, to redistribute a pro-rata share of the vaccine to every acute care hospital that serves COVID-19 patients. The second allocation of the vaccine that is expected to arrive later this month will allow for a distribution of vaccines to all health care personnel and residents at skilled nursing facilities, along with continued distribution to frontline healthcare and EMS personnel, according to Public Health.

August 31, 2020


Health officials on Monday said that they are preparing for the upcoming Labor Day weekend and warned the public to heed the lessons learned from the spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths that occurred after previous holidays.

“We know for sure that our holiday gatherings, parties and cookouts can result in increases in transmissions, hospitalizations and deaths,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. “The ability for us to reopen more fully relies on everyone doing their part, being smart of their choices, and reducing their risk to exposure to COVID-19 every day.”

Authorities said that increases in cases and hospitalizations occurred within a few weeks of the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays. They stressed the importance of adhering to physical distancing and infection control requirements that reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Since being around people who aren’t part of a person’s household puts them at a greater risk for COVID-19, they said it is important to find ways to celebrate Labor Day without going to parties and barbecues hosted by non-household members.

“If you’re outside of your home and around others, please wear a face covering,” said Davis. “Always use your own utensils, cups, food and drinks, and do not share with others. Avoid crowds and be flexible and willing to change plans or move to a different location if you find yourself in a crowded area.”

August 30, 2020


On Sunday, health authorizations said that daily hospitalization numbers continue to steadily decline, from the over 2,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized daily in mid-July to an average of 1,100 patients hospitalized daily last week. 

As of Sunday, there were 1,089 people with COVID-19 hospitalized – the lowest since the beginning of May. Thirty-two percent of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU.

 August 28, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported on Friday three additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This brings the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 28 children.

The majority of cases (71%) were Latino.

MIS-C affects children under 21 years old who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or had COVID-19. This is the case breakdown by age groups:

  • 28 % of these cases were between the ages of 0 and 5 years old
  • 39% were between the ages of 6 and 12 years old
  • 32% were between the ages of 13 and 20 years old. 

There continue to be no reports of deaths in children associated with MIS-C in L.A. County.

August 24, 2020


On Monday, county health authorities said there are signs of the spread of COVID-19 slowing in key indicators, including daily hospitalizations and deaths.

 Daily hospitalizations numbers have decreased by 45% from the peak of over 2,200 in mid-July. There are 1,219 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 32% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU.

“Thankfully, the work we have all done as a community and the sacrifices we are making are working,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health. “If we can maintain this lower rate of transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools, more businesses reopening or, someday, moving their operations back indoors.”

Public Health said the decreasing number of daily hospitalizations is one of the best indicators as it is an accurate representation of how many people are currently seriously ill from the virus.

August 21, 2020


On Friday, Public Health reported nine additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This brings the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 25 children.

The majority of cases (68%) were Latino.

This is how they broke down by ages:

  • 28% between the ages of 0 and 5 years old
  • 44% were between the ages of 6 and 12 years old
  • 28% were between the ages of 13 and 20 years old  

No children with MIS-C in L.A. County have died.

MIS-C is a condition that affects children under 21 years old across the country who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or had COVID-19. Different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs and there can be lifelong health impacts.

August 20, 2020


Hypertension and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions among people who died from COVID-19, health authorities said on Thursday. Neurologic conditions and cardiovascular disease are also common.

Of the more than 5,400 coronavirus deaths reported in  Los Angeles County, 92%  had underlying health conditions. This is how the county broke them down on Thursday:

  • Nearly 3,000 people had hypertension
  • More than 2,000 people had diabetes
  • 1,300 people had neurologic conditions
  • 1,300 people had cardiovascular disease

Some people may have had more than one of these conditions.

Health authorities warned that although people over 65 years old make up the largest portion of people who died with underlying health conditions, younger people with underlying health conditions become seriously ill and die from the virus as well.  

Twenty-four percent or 1,145 number of people who died with underlying health conditions were between the ages of 41 and 64 years old, and 3% or 151 people were between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.

August 10, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) announced Monday that it has begun to see signs of stability in key indicators such as hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19.

As the Department notes, deaths in the county have begun to decline and today L.A. County represents less than half of all deaths in California. Beforehand, the county had long accounted for slightly more than half of deaths statewide. Deaths in the county remain stable with an average of 37 new deaths per day over the last two weeks.

“I want to thank our residents, individuals and business owners, for working really hard to get back to slowing the spread of this virus,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We must continue on this path and build our new normal so that we can re-open our schools for in-person learning. We need to make progress so that more of our neighbors can get back to work. Please continue to wear your face coverings, avoid crowds and gathering with people that you don’t live with, practice physical distancing, and continue staying home as much as you can. This is all helping and making a difference.”

Public Health continues to plan for the beginning of the school year with a return of virtual learning for TK-12 students. In-person learning will not be allowed until the County’s case rate declines from its current rate of 355 per 100,000 population to a rate of 200 cases per 100,000. Below is a link to a recent update from Superintendent Austin Beutner regarding the upcoming school year:

August 3, 2020


L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday she is “cautiously optimistic” that the community spread of COVID-19 in L.A. County has slowed, and that other key indicators are stabilizing. 

This after weeks of increased infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Hospitalizations still averaged 2,000 people per day last week, but Ferrer said those numbers are starting to decrease. The daily number of reported cases is also beginning to decrease, after climbing above 3,000 new cases per day on average in mid July.

The positive trends, she said, can be attributed to a variety of things, including the decreased opportunities for transmission, particularly in high-risk settings. 

“Simply put, closing the bars worked,” Ferrer said. “It also worked to limit indoor dining at restaurants and to move the operations of various businesses and institutions outdoors.”

While county indicators are high, Ferrer said the plateauing of the trends is encouraging.

See Monday’s update here:

July 30, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the text-based survey Angelenos in Action has been launched to better monitor COVID-19 symptoms across LA County.

The voluntary survey hopes to gather information from residents to capture potential spikes and tends in real-time. This data will help assist workers from Public Health to allocate resources to impacted communities.

In order to volunteer for the survey, individuals must be adults living in Los Angeles County and have access to a cell phone that can receive and send text messages.

“We are anxious to make sure that there are innovative strategies for partnering with residents to slow the spread,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Texting is such an easy way of communicating with people, especially our younger residents, so we’re pleased to have Angelenos in Action, an innovative disease surveillance program in place. We need everyone to help us protect our community and save lives.”

If you are interested in enrolling, you can follow these steps to sign up:

  1. Text “@PROTECT” to 35134 to volunteer or click here to register online 
  2. Answer 5 quick questions to sign up
  3. You will be randomly assigned to one day a week to receive texts 
  4. Every week on that day, Public Health will text you one YES/NO question to ask how you’re feeling
  5. If you feel unwell, you will receive two more YES/NO questions about COVID-19-like symptoms

The survey is currently available in English and Spanish.

July 29, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that $15 million in CARES Act funding is being allocated by the Board of Supervisors for childcare vouchers.

These funds will serve to support essential workers and low-income families throughout the County of Los Angeles. Public Health will work in partnership with the Los Angeles County Early Childhood Education COVID-19 Response Team to support funding distribution.

The Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education is working with the network Child Care Alliance to distribute support through an existing voucher system. Families in need of childcare and education services can call (888) 922-4453 to access these vouchers. Eligibility is determined through the State of California.

July 23, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) announced Thursday that it has created a tiered compliance and enforcement plan including citations and fines for businesses violating Health Officer Orders.

As of Thursday, the department has seen a total of 17,808 Health Officer Order complaints and has investigated more than 17,000 restaurants, more than 3,500 grocery stores, over 600 pools and more than 3,000 other businesses since the start of March.

According to Public Health, compliance with Health Officer Orders ensures the public health and safety of all and is necessary for the long-term reopening of many economic sectors. They are in place to prevent the rise of COVID-19 cases, more serious illnesses, increased hospitalizations and additional deaths.

“I’m pleased that we’re seeing great compliance in some areas and we want to continue to see that but we need to plan for the long-term reopening of our economic sectors while ensuring the public health and safety of our residents and our workforce,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We want to be reasonable and work with business owners, but we also know that time is of the essence to slow the spread of this virus and protect the health of workers, customers, and their families.”

Fines for businesses that are non-compliant will begin at the end of August and will range from $100 for the first offense to $500 and a 30 day suspension for multiple offenses. Public Health says this includes businesses licensed and permitted by the department and those that aren’t.

Current orders require business owners throughout the county to close indoor operations at many locations and take actions to implement strategies that protect the health and safety of both workers and customers.

July 20, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) announced Monday that it is providing $10 million to community-based organizations to push for participation in contact tracing efforts in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, Public Health is piloting a $20 gift card incentive program for participating in an hour-long contact tracing interview.

“Each day, we are thinking of the many families in L.A. County who have lost loved ones to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Contact tracing is a valuable tool for slowing the spread of COVID-19, and that’s why we’re providing $10 million to community-based organizations and piloting a $20 gift card incentive for full participation in the interview process. But contact tracing cannot slow this virus on its own. This is truly a community effort. Together, we have the power to slow the devastating spread of this virus.”

Contact tracing involves having trained public health specialists interview those with a positive COVID-19 lab result to learn about their risks, possible exposures and close contacts. This process is done to ensure that a person who has tested positive is able to find support during isolation.

According to the department, the success of contact tracing efforts is tied to the timelines of the testing lab to report positive COVID-19 results to Public Health, whether said report contains the individual’s complete and correct contact information as well as whether individuals have responded to Public Health’s case interview and contact tracer calls and emails. About 70% of interviews are completed.

July 13, 2020


As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday various closures for many indoor operations across the state.

The Governor’s announcement comes the same day the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that students will not be returning for in-person classes at the start of the new school year next month in favor of continuing online learning.

The changes will affect the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order to better prevent more cases, increased hospitalizations and additional deaths.

The modified Order requires the closure of indoor operations that promote interaction of populations outside of personal households and make it difficult to adhere to physical distancing with face coverings. These spaces include the following:

  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
  • Indoor Protests
  • Places of Worship
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops
  • Personal Care Services (including nail salons, massage parlors and tattoo shops)
  • Offices for Non-Critical Infrastructure Sectors identified here
  • Malls

Indoor dining at restaurants, bars, indoor museums, indoor operations at zoos/aquariums, cardrooms and satellite wagering facilities remain closed in the County. All events and gatherings are prohibited unless specifically allowed by the Order.

More information on the Order is available on the department’s website.

July 10, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) announced Friday that it is continuing to ramp up its contact tracing efforts as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

As of Friday, Public Health has over 1,500 contact tracers actively working to interview Los Angeles County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Before the start of the pandemic, Public Health had only about 200 workers who engaged in contact tracing as part of their work.

Thanks to the support of other County Departments, the State of California and the City of Los Angeles, Public Health has been able to train hundreds of additional contact tracers in the past few months.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you can expect a call from a public health specialist to interview you about possible exposures and to better identify others who may have also been exposed.

A call back number will be left if calls go unanswered and patients who cannot be reached over the phone will be sent a letter in the mail. Information shared with Public Health is protected and can’t be shared with others except under emergency situations.

The Department also says that a public health specialist will never ask you for a social security number, payment or documented status. If you receive a call asking for this information, the call is likely a scam.

July 2, 2020


As Los Angeles continues to see steep increases in community spread of COVID-19, the LA County Health Officer Order will be modified today to align with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directives and require the closure of:

  • Indoor, in-person dining at restaurants
  • Indoor museums and indoor operations at zoos and aquariums
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering facilities

The Order requires businesses with three or more known cases of Covid-19 within the workplace over the span of 14 days to report the outbreak to the LA County Department of Public Health.

Employers with one known case within the workplace must have a protocol set up which requires that person to self-isolate at home as well as anyone else exposed to self-quarantine.

Bars will remain closed and all events and gatherings that aren’t allowed by this Order will remain prohibited. Face coverings and gloves must be worn at fitness facilities at all times.

Juno 30, 2020


For the fourth day in a row, the LA County Department of Public Health announced today a total of new cases that is over 2,000.

Monday saw the highest total of new cases reported countywide since the beginning of the pandemic: 2,903. Health officials said the seven-day average of daily reported cases is now almost 2,000 – an increase from the 1,379 average two weeks ago.

“The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19, said said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health. “Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death.”

June 28, 2020


On Sunday, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars in Los Angeles and six other California counties  to close immediately because of the rapid spread of coronavirus in those areas.

The mandatory bar closures came barely a week after drinking spots in Los Angeles County were allowed to reopen.

“Californians must remain vigilant against this virus,” Newsom said in statement. “COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases.”

The state’s public health department said bars posed a higher risk of transmission of COVID-19 than other businesses. Among reasons for closing, it said alcohol consumption reduces compliance with social distancing and using masks, and loud music and noises cause people to raise their voices, which could lead to the “greater projection of oral emitted viral droplets.”

June 27, 2020


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reported significant increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate on Saturday.

Among the increases:

  • The seven-day average of daily new cases is over 1,900; an increase from the 1,379 average two weeks ago. 
  • There are 1,698 people currently hospitalized. This is higher than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. 
  • The 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.6% Saturday.

Barbara Ferrer, director of the county’s public health department, said we are at a “critical moment” in our COVID-19 recovery efforts:

“Over the last few weeks, businesses and public spaces have reopened, and many more people have been out around others…and the data is now showing concerning trends.”

June 18, 2020


California state public health officials announced a guidance Thursday morning requiring face coverings in public spaces and other “high-risk settings” in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.

This new mandate replaces previous guidance that allowed county health officials decide whether to require face coverings.

Places where face coverings must be worn include:

  • Indoor public spaces
  • Outdoor public spaces where 6 foot social distancing is impossible
  • While receiving health care services, including at hospitals, pharmacies, dental offices, blood banks, and laboratories
  • At work when interacting with the public or co-workers, and while walking through common areas
  • While waiting for, driving or riding on public transit or in a private taxi or ride-share vehicle

Exemptions to the guidance includes children under the age of 2 and individuals with a medical condition preventing them from wearing a face covering.

The full guidance on face coverings is available here.

June 12, 2020


A new phase of reopening began Friday, following an announcement this week by health officials. 

The businesses and settings can reopen to the public “once they implement the required protocols for infection control and distancing,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. The following types of businesses in L.A. County will be allowed to open, as long as they are following the county health guidelines:

  • Gyms and fitness facilities
  • Professional sports arenas without live audiences
  • Day camps
  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation, including swimming pools
  • Music, film and television production
  • Hotels for leisure travel

Health protocols for each setting are available on the department’s website.

May 29, 2020


During Friday’s update, Public Health director Barbara Ferrer gave updates on the disproportionate death rates being documented among minority groups and in the county’s poorest communities.

Ferrer provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information for 2,112 of the victims. The number of deaths given per 100,000 residents in each ethnic group were:

  • 108 – Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 28 – Black
  • 25 – Latino
  • 18 – Asian
  • 14 – White

Ferrer said the death rate in poor L.A. County communities is “alarming and growing.” 

“People who live in areas with high rates of poverty have almost four times the rate of deaths from COVID-19 — 46 per 100,000 people, compared with communities with very low poverty levels where the death rate is 12 deaths per 100,000 people,” Ferrer said.  “We must address the complex issues around these inequities with our partner departments, organizations and communities.”

May 27, 2020


Following orders announced by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday, the City and County of Los Angeles said on Tuesday that churches, temples and other houses of worship may reopen and welcome parishioners.

A reopening order issued Tuesday by the County Health Officer and going into effect Wednesday included indoor shopping centers, flea markets, swap meets and even drive-in theaters.

The order requires that entry be limited: to 25% of occupancy and no more than 100 people in houses of worship and to 50% of occupancy at retail stores, including those at malls and shopping centers.

On Tuesday, health authorities insisted that anyone who leaves their house at this time of reopening should adhere to three “cardinal rules.” They are:

  • Keep wearing face coverings in public and maintain six feet of distance
  • Anyone who is showing symptoms or who tests positive should self-isolate for at least 10 days
  • Anyone who had contact with someone known to be infected should self-quarantine for 14 days (the incubation period of the virus)

May 27, 2020


It remained unclear Tuesday if a recent spike of coronavirus cases in the Eastside can be linked to outbreaks confirmed over the weekend at nine food processing facilities at the City of Vernon, which borders the southern edge of Boyle Heights.

The largest of the outbreaks is at the Farmer John meat packing plant, which employs many residents of Boyle Heights and other bordering communities, such as Huntington Park, Maywood and City of Commerce. On Sunday, Public Health said the number of Farmer John employees who had tested positive for the virus was 153.

The smallest incorporated city in all of California, Vernon is principally an industrial city with around 100 residents –mostly city employees. As of Tuesday, Public Health had identified only 2 confirmed COVID-19 cases among Vernon residents.

May 13, 2020


On Wednesday, Public Health officials said they will allow more types of lower-risk businesses to reopen as part of Los Angeles County’s process of recovery from the pandemic.

Public Health director Barbara Ferrer said that businesses that can reopen now include all retail businesses  “with the exception of those who are located in indoor shopping centers and malls.” Also given the green light were  “manufacturing and logistic businesses that supply the lower-risk retail businesses.

“Ferrer warned the order does not allow customers to enter stores, and businesses need to follow public health protocols designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.  “We ask that you remember — both the public and the retailers — that this is just to offer curbside, doorside, or other outdoor or outside pickup or delivery.”  

May 6, 2020


At Wednesday’s county coronavirus media briefing, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced that certain businesses and recreational spaces, like flower shops and car dealerships and golf courses and hiking areas will reopen on Friday.

Barger said those businesses include “stores that sell toys, books, clothing, sporting goods and music,” but only for curbside pick-up of orders.

“This list is less about what products are sold and more about the ability to maintain social distancing,” the supervisor added, explaining that the easing of restrictions in L.A. County aligns with the directives at the state level. “We are finalizing the details and we’ll have all the information and guidelines for businesses up on our website before the order goes into effect.”

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that businesses partially opening on Friday will signify the county’s entering Stage 2 of a five-stage county reopening. The county is currently one Stage 1, which includes the current stay-at-home orders.

April 30, 2020


This week, Public Health began to break down coronavirus fatalities by geographical region, providing both a death count and a death rate for every Los Angeles neighborhood, every city in the county (except Long Beach and Pasadena) and every unincorporated area in Los Angeles County.

As of Wednesday, the data showed 4 deaths related to coronavirus in Boyle Heights and 16 deaths in the neighboring unincorporated county area of East Los Angeles. The death rate (number of cases per 100,000 residents) was more than three times higher in East LA than in Boyle Heights: it’s 16.14 East of Indiana and 5.31 in BH.

The data is available in a new interactive dashboard unveiled by the County on Tuesday that also provides detailed information on testing, cases and deaths. It also includes graphs that show cumulative and daily figures for confirmed cases and deaths, and information broken down by poverty level, age, gender and race. 

(The dashboard, which is slow and somewhat cumbersome to navigate, had not been updated with the latest numbers as of Thursday at 3:00 pm.)

April 27, 2020

Poverty and death

At her daily coronavirus update, Public Health director Barbara Ferrer said that county residents living in areas with high rates of poverty are dying at a rate about three times that of communities with low poverty rates. 

“This data is deeply disturbing and it speaks to the need for immediate action in communities with disproportionately high rates of death,” She said. “And this would mean increased testing, better access and connection to health care and support services, and more accurate culturally appropriate information about COVID-19, and we’re joining with our partners in the community, to make sure this happens.”

April 23, 2020


On Thursday, health authorities confirmed that COVID-19 has surpassed coronary heart disease, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the flu as the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County.

At the county’s daily briefing, public health director Barbara Ferrer said the average daily reported number of deaths related to coronavirus is now 44. In comparison, average daily fatalities from coronary heart disease are 31, 8 from COPD and emphysema and 5 from influenza.


On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted  to create a $2.2 million program to help “families that are already struggling to pay their rent, and are living paycheck to paycheck.” 

The program would help tenants who earn 80% or less of the median income in their area, and could potentially help several hundreds of Los Angeles families.

April 22, 2020


The non profit organization that runs a youth advocacy program at Roosevelt High School has put together a coronavirus resource guide for Boyle Heights residents. The four-page guide on a downloadable PDF document is currently available in English only, but a Spanish-language version is forthcoming. 

Among areas covered are special support for undocumented immigrants and the rights of tenants, workers and families. 

The guide can be downloaded here.

April 21, 2020


On Saturday, the California Department of Health identified 261 skilled nursing facilities with one or more cases of COVID-19, and more than half of them are in LA County.

Of the 148 facilities in the county with one or more cases, there is one nursing home in Boyle Heights. The state report does not state the total number of cases at the Buena Ventura Post Acute Care Center –only that it is at least one and less than 11.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Friday that more than a third of the reported deaths in the county (36% as of Friday) have been primarily residents in skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities.


Over the last few days, Spanish-language media reported about the hardships faced by Mariachi musicians who seek work at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights since the stay-at-home order was issued last month. The musicians do not qualify for unemployment insurance since they are independent contractors.

“We haven’t worked for four weeks,” Javier Chora, of Mariachi Jocotepec, told La Opinión. “We want the government to help the musicians. We have no funds or resources to withstand so much time without working.”

La Opinión reached out to the office of Councilman José Huízar. A spokesperson there said no Mariachi musician had complained directly to the office, but that anyone who did would be referred to the city’s Small Business Emergency Microloan Program.

Musician Israel Moreno told Telemundo 52 in a similar story Saturday: “It’s a shame that our music, one of the most beautiful things there is for us Mexicans, has to be silenced this way.”

Several Mariachis staged a protest “serenata” on Wednesday, asking for assistance from city officials. Most of the musicians wore face masks while performing, as reported by Univision 34.

The serenata was also the subject of a photo essay by Los Angeles Times photographer Gary Coronado”:

April 16, 2020


On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $125 million fund aimed at helping undocumented workers during the coronavirus emergency. According to the Los Angeles Times, the fund will distribute one-time $500 cash grants for individuals and up to $1,000 for families who do not qualify for aid from federal programs or unemployment benefits.

The program is partly funded through charitable donations and will be distributed by regional nonprofit groups who work with the undocumented community. Applications will begin to be taken next month.

This week, Los Angeles Mayor said that the city would give out a no-fee debit card to individuals and families who fell under federal poverty lines and lost more than 50% of their income due to coronavirus, regardless of their immigration status.  Applications for the Angeleno Card were being taken Tuesday through Thursday, though many people complained they couldn’t get through the website or phone line to apply.


On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved measures to create an assistance program to help renters who cannot afford to pay back late rent and tenants who have lost income because of unpaid rents. The county will now seek for funds to provide this assistance.

Also on Tuesday, the county voted to extend a moratorium on evictions to mobile homes and to apply a freeze on rent increases to all unincorporated areas of the county, including East Los Angeles.

A countywide moratorium on evictions has been in place since last month.

Check out this complete guide to eviction rules during the pandemic.


The first testing site for COVID-19 in Boyle Heights opened Tuesday in a vacant lot behind Mariachi Plaza. A similar drive-through testing site opened a week earlier at the East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park.

Individuals must pre register and meet testing criteria before they show up for the free test For more information and FAQs: covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.


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Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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