The number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Los Angeles County and it is not due to the increased mass testing efforts. It appears that the comment of Tom Frieden, former director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a previous post is for real, and so are what health officials in the region who are trying to come up with measures to try and prevent numbers from escalating are saying.
According to Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Department, the county has seen 2,903 new cases based on the latest numbers given on Monday. This was a record high for the region, with a total of 100,772 people now infected in the county.
The seven-day average of daily reported new COVID-19 cases is now about 2,000, a notable increase from the previous average of 1,379 from two weeks ago. Aside from that, there were 22 additional COVID-related deaths, raising the total to 3,326. The cumulative test positivity rate has increased from 8 to 9 percent. Ferrer mentioned that the increases that are happening are not coming from testing. She pointed out that these are new cases happening in Los Angeles County.
Testing in the county is at 17,000 tests a day, a small rise compared to the 15,000 done in the past days. Considering that the county has a population of over 10 million people, the 1 million tests administered are relatively small.
With the rising new coronavirus cases, hospitals are under the radar once more. Director for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Dr. Christine Ghaly called on hospitals to be ready, singling out how the increase in cases could see a large drove of locals seeking aid soon.
“These curves are no longer flat,” she said. “Instead, they have a very steep trajectory. We are very likely to see an increase in mortality in the coming weeks.”
With another holiday approaching, Ferrer said they are already on the matter and are collaborating with beach mayors for options to keep locals safe. Measures that include wearing face masks, social distancing and proper hygiene are just some of the measures expected to be suggested.
“We can’t sustain this rate of increase in positive cases. This train can be a runaway train if we don’t put the breaks on it. We have to get our heads back into this new normal,” Ferrer said.
As far as the increase, Ferrer pointed out that businesses that have reopened have contributed to the spike in COVID-19 cases. Some are not requiring the wearing of masks and physical distancing is not strictly being observed.
“Immediate action is needed,” she said. “If you’re not part of the solution to slowing the spread, you’re ending up part of the problem.”