6,399 New Positive Cases and 18 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

As CDC Community Level Data Improves, Indoor Masking Strongly Advised to Protect Most Vulnerable Residents

AMTV, LOS ANGELES, July 29 – Today, The Los Angeles Department of Public Health reported 18 additional deaths and 6,399 new positive cases today. Of the 18 new deaths reported today, three people were between the ages of 50-64, seven people were between the ages of 65-79, and eight people were aged 80 years or older. Of the 18 newly reported deaths, 17 had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 32,708.

Public Health has reported a total of 3,292,692 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 14.8%.

There are 1,239 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 12,332,471 individuals, with 24% of people testing positive.Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Levels framework, Los Angeles County remains at the high community level this week. However, there are indications that LA County may very soon be moving to the medium community level. Given the latest trends in cases and hospitalizations, Public Health is not instituting universal indoor masking at this time.

LA County’s 7-day case rate, while still elevated at 426 weekly cases per 100,000 people, declined from 481 weekly cases per 100,000 people last week. Using the most recent hospitalization data, LA County is experiencing a rate of 9.7 new hospitalizations for LA County, which suggests that by next Thursday, assuming rates stay stable or decline, CDC will designate LA County at the medium community level.

Although Public Health did not issue a new health officer order to require universal indoor masking because of the improvements in our hospital metrics, given the continued high rate of transmission, wearing masks indoors in public spaces, will reduce risk and limit spread.

As a reminder, masking is still required in many settings throughout the county under the existing state and LA County Health Officer orders.

Masks are required in all health care settings, on public transportation, such as buses and trains, and transit hubs, as well as at long-term care settings, shelters, cooling centers, and correctional facilities. Masks are required for 10 days for anyone recently diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19, when they are around other people.

And while LA County still is in this surge, indoor masking is very strongly advised everywhere else: in shared office spaces, in other work settings like manufacturing, in retail settings (whether you work there or are shopping), indoors at schools, and when you are in any indoor space, unless you are actively eating or drinking.

As a reminder, businesses and institutions are permitted to require indoor masking while people are on their premises, and this remains a sensible action to take during times of high transmission.

“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We are gratified to see improvements in our metrics and appreciate all those whose efforts continue to provide protection to those most vulnerable, since, as has been in the past, surges have the most negative consequences on those who are unvaccinated, older, have underlying health conditions, live in communities with high rates of poverty, and have more exposures at work and in the community. As we are hopefully moving to the medium community level, we will need to continue to use common sense safety measures to reduce community transmission to a level that causes less disruption, less illness, and less death. We have great tools and we will need to use them: so please be up-to-date on your vaccinations to reduce your chances of severe illness should you get infected; wear your mask indoors to reduce the spread of an infectious agent at its source, while also protecting the wearer from aerosolized virus and respiratory droplets. Outside remains safer than inside, and when inside maximizing ventilation can help bring in fresh air. Testing is the best way to know your status and prevent unintentional transmission to others and we should get tested whenever we feel sick, have been recently exposed, or before attending gatherings. And for those who end up infected, swift access to therapeutics can make a big difference in preventing severe illness.”

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