23,796 New Positive Cases and 101 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, CA, Jan 28 – As a result of the winter Omicron surge, outbreaks in LA County have skyrocketed across a wide variety of settings from worksites, to congregate and group living facilities, to persons experiencing homelessness.

Out of the more than 1,200 total active outbreaks reported within LA County through January 27, worksites represented 28% with 336 active outbreaks, the most of any setting. Persons experiencing homelessness had the next highest with 289 active outbreaks (24%), followed by 268 active outbreaks (22%) within skilled nursing facilities, 237 active outbreaks (20%) within congregate and group housing, 45 active outbreaks (3.7%) within school settings, and 28 active outbreaks (2.3%) within other sectors.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 8,990 total active outbreaks across all sectors, with worksites again having the highest share with 2,816 total outbreaks (31%), followed by congregate living and group housing with 2,176 total outbreaks (24%), skilled nursing facilities with 1,553 (17%), persons experiencing homelessness with 1,490 (17%), schools with 573 (6%), and other sectors with 385 (4%) total outbreaks.

To help mitigate the number of outbreaks in workplace sites, Public Health modified its Health Officer Order to include additional safety measures to reduce the risk of transmission. As of January 17th, employers are now required to provide their employees who work indoors in close contact with others with well-fitting medical masks, surgical masks, or higher-level respirators, such as N95 or KN95 masks. These upgraded masks are better at blocking virus particles than cloth masks.

Additionally, worker sites are required to implement measures that will protect workers and limit any further spread of disease at the site. Employers are required to report any cluster of worksite COVID-19 cases. A cluster is when three (3) or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are known or reported at the worksite within a 14-day period. Reports to Public Health should be made as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours after reports or knowledge of at least three cases. Worksites can report a cluster to DPH online or by phone: 1-888-397-3993.

During an outbreak, employers are also required to identify and notify all close contacts, make available – at no cost – at least weekly or twice weekly testing to all employees within an exposed group, implement ventilation changes where appropriate, offer respirators to all employees, distance workers from each other by 6 feet where feasible, and provide exclusion pay to those with a COVID-19 workplace exposure.

Workers who are concerned about possible COVID-19 or other workplace safety concerns or that an employer may not be following the County Health Officer Order or other requirement have several options for filing a complaint. To file a complaint with Public Health, which can be submitted anonymously, workers can call our Environmental Health Customer Call Center at (888) 700-9995 or by clicking on the “Report a Problem” at www.ph.lacounty.gov/eh. To file a complaint with Cal/OSHA about employee safety, workplace safety, or hazardous conditions, workers can call (833) 579-0927 or call or email the local Cal/OSHA Enforcement Office that serves the location of the job site.

If residents or workers are concerned that a site may not be following the City of LA’s Vaccination Ordinance, they can email labusinessresponse@lacity.org or visit www.ewddlacity.com/index.php/safepassla-faqs.

“I send my deepest condolences to the many families and friends grieving the loss of a loved one,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As we turn the corner on this surge, let’s continue to stay focused on protecting our workforce. Doing so helps reduce staff shortages, spread among family members, strain on our healthcare system, and economic distress often among those least resourced. Each of us can do our part by getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a well-fitting medical mask or respirator indoors or when in a crowded outdoor setting, staying home if sick, getting tested, and notifying close contacts of potential exposure when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.”

Today, Public Health confirmed 101 additional deaths and 23,796 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 101 new deaths reported today, two of the people who died were between the ages of 18 and 29, seven of the people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49, 16 people were between the ages of 50 and 64, 36 were between the ages of 65-79, and 36 were over the age of 80 years old. Of the 101 newly reported deaths, 83 had underlying conditions. Information on the two deaths reported by the City of Long Beach and the two deaths reported by the City of Pasadena is available at www.longbeach.gov and www.CityofPasadena.net To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 28,816.

Public Health has identified a total 2,610,385 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 11.6%. Testing results are available for more than 11,005,995 individuals, with 21% of people testing positive.

There are 4,192 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized.

To keep workplaces and schools open, residents and workers are asked to:

· Adhere to masking requirements when indoors or at crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

· Remain home when sick, isolate if positive and quarantine when in close contact.

Residents are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and are vaccinated. Close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.

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