COVID-19 Daily; LA County targeting reopen by July 4

Grant Boone
May 23, 2020

At the county's daily coronavirus briefing, Supervisor Hilda Solis and public health director Barbara Ferrer tried to stress that the July 4 date is just a goal, but the mission is to reopen the economy sooner than later, recognizing that residents are growing tired of continued stay-at-home restrictions. I want to remind folks that gatherings and events of any kind are not permitted. "The virus hasn't changed". So please find ways to enjoy the holiday with people from your own household or with friends and family from afar using our technology tools.

Officials are watching the caseload and surveys closely. As of today, 6,026 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (14% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 1,863 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health) 39% of deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 29% among White residents, 17% among Asian residents, 12% among African American residents, 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.

The first round of serology testing in April found about 4.1% of residents had antibodies in their system, suggesting an infection number of about 400,000. County residents can make testing appointments at the L.A. County testing site.

The two percentages also fall within a standard margin of error in the testing, officials said.

But he said there is reason to be optimistic over the latest testing results. ". This shows that we are controlling the new infections in our community".

"That's certainly a goal we can reach, but we all are going to need to do our part", she said.

Ferrer echoed that optimistic tone, while also acknowledging that methodology may have contributed to the drop in percentage of antibody-positive tests.

More than 40 of California's 58 counties have now been approved to expand retail operations as their virus conditions improved, with more are expected to reopen their economies in the coming days. Although this round did not include the highest risk groups, Public Health is planning on surveying those living in congregate settings (e.g., skilled nursing facilities, homeless shelters, jails) or persons experiencing homelessness and living on the streets and is also planning a subsequent survey that will include children.

Apple and Google Join Hand on Coronavirus Contact Tracing Technology
The strategy provided by Google to address these restrictions was launched past year to provide more recent versions of Android. Google is prohibited from releasing the software to Huawei which means that the contact tracing system can not be applied.

On Tuesday, Barger chaired the second convening of the Los Angeles County Economic Resiliency Task Force, in which key leaders from 13 different industries discussed how they have been impacted by months of closures due to COVID-19 and expressed the goal to safely reopen Los Angeles County as early as July 4.

Ferrer acknowledged the frustration as the slow pace of businesses reopening.

"Many of our handsome outdoor spaces are open and we can enjoy them as we practice physical distancing and wear our cloth face coverings when we're around other people", Ferrer said.

The leaders said prolonged closures will continue to undermine the ability of most small businesses to reopen and will cause permanent loss of jobs and wages for millions throughout the county. She said that a few weeks ago, at the worst of L.A. County's outbreak the positivity rate wavered around 13-15% and the last week was 10-11%. "The restaurant industry reported that 80% of jobs have been lost".

". Anyone listening to yesterday's meeting heard loud and clear that employees and businesses are suffering".

"The economic and sociological impacts created by the COVID-19 shutdown have hurt our vulnerable populations the most", Barger's statement reads.

Coastal access in Orange County will be easier over the Memorial Day weekend, as several coastal cities expanded their beach hours and plan to open more parking lots connected to the shoreline. "How quickly we reopen is all up to us, but economic recovery can not come at the expense of more lives, especially when we consider that our communities of color are disproportionately impacted by this virus".

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