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Updated July 14, 2020

THE LATEST NUMBERS

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 73 new deaths and 4,244 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, marking the highest number of new cases reported in a day since the start of the pandemic. These numbers include 89 new cases in Boyle Heights and 102 new cases in East Los Angeles.

As of Tuesday, Public Health has identified 140,307 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,894 deaths. Ninety-two percent of people who died had underlying health conditions.

On Tuesday,  Public Health put the total of COVID-19 cases in Boyle Heights at 2,375 and the total in East LA at 3,327.

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:

TuesdayBH 2,375 (+89) *ELA 3,327 (+102)
MondayBH 2,286 (+41) *ELA 3,225 (+62)
SundayBH 2,245 (+72) *ELA 3,163 (+74)
SaturdayBH 2,173 (+49) *ELA 3,089 (+71)
FridayBH 2,124 (+42) *ELA 3,018 (+56)
ThursdayBH 2,082 (+19) *ELA 2,962 (+28)
WednesdayBH 2,063 (+19) *ELA 2,934 (+44)
*These numbers include cases associated with correctional facility outbreaks.

On Tuesday, the County’s database showed one new death in both Boyle Heights and in East Los Angeles. As of Tuesday, County data showed a total of 36 deaths in Boyle Heights and 67 deaths in the neighboring unincorporated country area of East Los Angeles.

The adjusted death rate (number of cases per 100,000 residents) is higher in East LA than in Boyle Heights: it’s 53 east of Indiana and 41 in BH.

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

July 13, 2020

CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCES CLOSURES FOR MANY INDOOR OPERATIONS

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

CONTACT TRACING INCREASES AS COVID-19 CASES GROW

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

INDOOR DINING AND OTHER ACTIVITIES BANNED

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

INCREASES OF COVID-19 CASES

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

BARS CLOSE AGAIN

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

LA COUNTY REPORTS SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN COVID-19 CASES

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

FACE COVERINGS NOW REQUIRED IN PUBLIC SPACES ACROSS STATE

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

NEW REOPENINGS IN LA COUNTY

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

‘ALARMING AND GROWING’ DEATH RATE AMONG THE POOR

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

CHURCHES MAY REOPEN, CUSTOMERS ENTER RETAILERS

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

OUTBREAKS IN VERNON

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

NEW BUSINESSES CAN REOPEN

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

SOME BUSINESSES TO REOPEN

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

DEATH COUNTS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

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

LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH

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.

NEW HELP FOR RENTERS

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

NEW BOYLE HEIGHTS RESOURCE GUIDE

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

DEATHS IN NURSING HEALTH FACILITIES

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.

MARIACHIS SING OUT FOR HELP

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

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

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.

HELP FOR RENTERS AND LANDLORDS

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.

EASTSIDE TESTING SITES

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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One Response

  1. Avatar
    Genaro

    It would be really great if BHB did a story on why our communities have such a high rate of positive confirmed cases. I think there’s a story to be told there.

    Reply

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