Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

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One year ago today (November 26, 2020) Los Los Angeles County reported 5,087 new cases of COVID-19 and 37 additional deaths on Thanksgiving Day, one of the highest one-day cases in the entire pandemic.

The number of county residents hospitalized with coronavirus increased from 1,682 to 1,809, with 24% of them on intensive care. The county’s total number of cases of coronavirus is 383,275 with 7,580 killed.

The staggering numbers came a day after a much-discussed ban on personal eating came into force, with health officials in Los Angeles County painting a bleak picture of the current rise, saying the transmission rate has reached its highest point since March and could overwhelm hospitals within one month.

“We continue to be in a very difficult time in this pandemic, just like so much in the United States,” said county health officer Dr. Muntu Davis Wednesday. “In fact, our situation is getting worse every day.”

According to current county estimates, each COVID-19 patient in the county transmits the virus to an average of 1.27 people – the highest transmission rate the county has seen since March before any safety protocols such as face covering and social distance were in place.

Based on this transmission rate, health officials estimate that one in every 145 people in the county is now infected with the virus and transmitting it to others.

“This does not include people who are currently hospitalized or isolated in the home,” said the county’s health director, Dr. Christina Ghaly. “This is the assessment of people who are out infecting others. They may not know they are infected. They may know they are infected and not isolating themselves. But they are out there and they are exposing other people to viruses. “

Ghaly said the number of hospital admissions due to the virus has increased by 70% in the last two weeks, with the county now averaging about 300 new admissions daily.

“Based on the current estimate of (virus transmission rate) and assuming that there is no change in people’s behavior that would affect transmissions, there is likely to be a shortage in the number of hospital beds, and especially in ICU beds or intensive care units, during the next two to four weeks, ”she said.

Ghaly noted that given the current transmission rate, the number of hospitalized patients could double in two weeks and quadruple in one month. She said hospitals have “wave” plans to increase the number of beds, but the availability of health professionals to staff these beds and treat patients is more limited.

Davis outlined other dire figures – including a 67% increase in coronavirus outbreaks reported in general workplaces in the first two weeks of November and a 200% jump in food outbreaks in the same period. He said 42 new outbreaks were reported to the county in the past 24 hours alone.


The county’s state-adjusted seven-day average test positivity rate was 7.3% from Thursday, up from 6.6% on Wednesday and 5.3% a week ago. The county reported a rate of about 3.9% in early November.

On Sunday, the county’s five-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases peaked at 4,000, crossing a threshold set the previous week to trigger a closure of personal dining at county restaurants already restricted to outdoor dining. This closure takes effect at 10pm on Wednesday and remains in place for three weeks.

Davis on Wednesday reiterated the need for the restriction, saying the current increase in cases makes it imperative to limit the potential for virus spread.

“To curb this disease at this time, limiting certain activities that can easily result in many additional cases, such as outdoor dining in restaurants, and reducing the number of people indoors in other environments is trying to get our case rate lower so we can move to a less restrictive level and reopen more businesses, “Davis said.” We all know what to do, but with more cases that they have, there are not enough people doing it. “

The elimination of personal dining, even on a temporary basis, makes business owners shake. The county supervisory board on Tuesday maintained the limit of a 3-2 vote, triggering an outcry from restaurateurs and others calling it a death knell for small businesses.

“The Board of Supervisors has just laid off tens of thousands of people, including many residents of West Hollywood, based on junk science and a need to make it look like they’re doing something,” said West Hollywood City Councilman John D’Amico at a press conference outside The Abbey on Robertson Boulevard. “All this a month before Christmas. To that I say ‘bah hoax.’

“In fact, what they should do is open businesses for hours with strong operating regulations, careful compliance with codes, smarter opportunities for everyone – workers, residents, business owners alike. We do not have to destroy this county to save it. We must save it. “

David Cooley, owner of The Abbey, fought back the tears, saying he fears the three-week ban on eating could extend into New Year’s Day, which “will probably put me out of business.” Cooley said he closed his business early in the pandemic but was able to reopen after making significant investments in security measures.

“We learned more about the virus and how we run our business safely without contributing to its spread,” he said. “As the state and county constantly changed the security protocols and rules, we adopted them all. And believe me, it was extremely expensive for small businesses to keep up with these guidelines.”

But now he said, “all that investment has been wasted.”

County Superintendent Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn on Tuesday made a proposal to lift the restriction on personal eating. They argued that the ban would be too burdensome for restaurants already struggling during the pandemic and could cost as many as 700,000 people to lose their jobs. They also said the restriction was imposed without evidence pointing to eateries as a significant source of virus spread.

But supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis stood behind the ban, saying the rate of virus transmission is so high that the county must choose to stop it.

The city of Long Beach, which maintains its own health department separate from the county, announced it will follow in the county’s footsteps and also ended personal dining on Wednesday night.

Pasadena, which also has its own health agency, has not adopted the restriction, saying that as a smaller municipality it can better enforce infection control standards and a smaller number of restaurants.

The county, meanwhile, may soon adopt even stricter restrictions on a wider range of businesses. On Monday, the county’s five-day average of new cases peaked at 4,500, a threshold expected to trigger a “targeted Safer At Home order” that would ban all public and private gatherings and impose strict capacity limits in stores.

It was unclear when the county could adopt such an order, and despite stressing the urgency of controlling virus transmission, Davis was non-committal on Wednesday about when it would happen. He said health officials were still in discussions with the supervisory board about the details of the order.

County Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the board on Tuesday that health officials recommended that the order:

– prohibit all public and private gatherings of people who are not in the same household, except for outdoor services and outdoor protests, which will require masks and social distance;

– set occupancy limits for outdoor retail establishments of 50% capacity with masks and social spacing required;

Set occupancy limits for major indoor retailers of 35% capacity with masks and social spacing required;

– set occupancy limits for non-essential indoor retailers of 20% capacity with masks and social spacing required;

Keep beaches, paths and parks open with masks and social distance required, except during swimming;

– allow walking, running, cycling and playing outdoors with masks and social distance;

Keep outdoor recreational facilities open to members of a single household using masks and social distances;

Close basins open to more than one household other than regulated lap swimming

– close or keep closed some unnecessary businesses, including office establishments, card rooms, clubs, bars, lounges, playgrounds other than childcare centers or schools, theaters, spectator performances, sporting events, bowling alleys and arcades

– allow childcare and day care centers, K-12 schools and day camps, higher education institutions, libraries, youth sports and spectator-free pro-sports to operate largely under the current rules; and

– Continue to comply with the state curfew, which bans all gatherings with members of other households from kl. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for essential activities, and exempt homeless people.

One year ago today (November 26, 2020) … Los Angeles County sees 5,087 new COVID-19 cases, 37 deaths was last modified: November 26, 2021 by Contributing editor

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