LOS ANGELES – Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the rate of hospitalizations due to coronavirus had been dropping during his Friday press conference.
“I’m proud to share that our hospitalizations are now down to the lowest level we have seen since April 7 — more than three months ago,” the mayor said. “That’s a significant achievement and a fragile one.”
There are 1,347 confirmed cases currently hospitalized in Los Angeles County and 32% of these people 420 who are confirmed cases in the ICU as of Friday which that “although no number is a good number, that’s a substantial decrease since last month,” Garcetti remarked.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said that the department estimates its rate of transmission is now at 0.92, which is up a bit from 0.86 last week. That data indicated ‘that as long as it remains below 1, case loads should continue to fall,’ Garcetti noted,
LA County Dept. of Public Health confirmed 46 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 Friday. To date the department has identified 229,054 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,491 deaths. Testing results are available for nearly 2,154,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
“Today we report another death that occurred in a young adult under the age of 29. This is a reminder that the risk for having negative outcomes due to COVID-19 is for all ages. No matter how young you are, this virus can be deadly said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health.
We continue to see more young people drive new infections and have more severe adverse health outcomes to COVID-19 including children with multi-system inflammatory syndrome. We must continue to work together to lower transmission among people of all ages, so please continue to wear a face covering, stay home when sick, wash hands frequently, and do not gather with people you don’t live with.”
Ferrer’s Department issued a statement Friday which cautioned that it was reporting nine additional cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This brings the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 25 children.
Twenty-eight percent of these cases were between the ages of 0 and 5 years old, 44% were between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, and 28% were between the ages of 13 and 20 years old. The majority of cases (68%) were Latino/Latinx.
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.
Public Health advises physicians to consider for MIS-C in patient children under 21 years old and to notify the department immediately of any cases.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association that as long as Americans continue to take precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, such as avoiding large gatherings, wearing masks, and maintaining social distancing the COVID-19 death rate should drop in certain parts of the country.
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 5.5 million people have been infected and at least 174,255 Americans have died, Hopkins researchers reported that the nation’s seven-day average for daily deaths has topped 1,000 for at least 24 days in a row.
Redfield also acknowledged that local and state governments taking steps such as closing bars and preventing large crowds from gathering, especially in party like atmospheres plays a critical role. “It is important to understand these interventions are going to have a lag, that lag is going to be three to four weeks,” Redfield said. “Hopefully this week and next week you’re going to start seeing the death rate really start to drop.”
The CDC director warned that while public health officials have observed cases fall across red zones in the U.S., there are cases in yellow zones in the middle of the nation where there’s been no change or even slight upticks.
“Middle America right now is getting stuck,” he said. “That is why it’s so important for Middle America to recognize the mitigation that we talked about … it’s for Middle America too, the Nebraskas, the Oklahomas.”
“We don’t need to have a third wave in the heartland right now,” he said. “We need to prevent that.”
Many of those cases have been driven upwards as colleges and university are restarting this Fall semester with in-person classes, moving students back into dorms.
Colleges and universities in at least 15 states in the middle states have reported alarming numbers of coronavirus COVID-19 cases, which have been traced back to athletics, Greek life or off-campus gatherings.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Ferrer had issued a health order that forbade in person instruction at USC, UCLA, and the Cal-State campuses.