Dept. of Public Health has new compliance measures

New 'Health Officer Orders'

OW Staff Writer | 7/31/2020, midnight
To underscore the ongoing need to protect the long-term health and..

To underscore the ongoing need to protect the long-term health and well-being of residents and the workforce as residents move forward in the recovery journey, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) introduces and underscores a new set of three Cs:  Compliance, Containment, and Collaboration.

Compliance: Businesses must comply with Health Officer Orders and implement the strict infection control practices and distancing guidelines in place to protect the workforce and the public. Residents must continue to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing, avoid gathering with people they don’t live with and continue washing their hands and cleaning high- touch surfaces.

Containment: Adequate testing and case investigations are critical tools to contain spread. The Department of Health Services has announced testing capacity has expanded to over 65 percent to serve communities hardest hit by COVID-19 that experience racial and economic disparities. Case interviews and contact tracing of people who are positive or exposed are isolating and quarantining must continue. Businesses and employers must also do their part and alert the department to outbreaks at their work sites.

Collaboration: Collaborating across all sectors and government is imperative to ensure clear messages to the public, uninterrupted supply chains for testing supplies and personal protective equipment, and unity in strategies for re-opening with as much safety as possible.

At the beginning of the week, Public Health had confirmed 17 new deaths and 2,039 new cases of COVID-19.  Public Health anticipates receiving a backlog of cases in the coming days.

Since May, the majority of cases have occurred among people between the ages of 18 and 49 years old.  People between the ages of 30 and 49 years old account for the largest proportion of cases and roughly the same proportion of cases as seen since May. Other age groups are flat or decreasing slightly.

Also this week, Public Health had reported 2,017 confirmed cases currently hospitalized; 29 percent of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU. There were 2,552 confirmed and suspect cases that are currently hospitalized with 18 percent of these persons on ventilators.

“To the many families who are experiencing the profound grief of losing a loved one to COVID-19, we are so sorry for your loss. We also send our deepest sympathies to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia who recently lost his mother to this virus," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “It has been 149 days since the COVID-19 public health emergency was declared in Los Angeles County. These past 149 days have given us time to learn a lot more about COVID-19—how to coexist with it as we await development of treatments and vaccines, and how to slow the spread to give our health system a fighting chance of treating those who fall seriously ill.

“We must drive compliance, containment, and collaboration efforts that will move with us into the long-term recovery that we all want to see happen as soon as possible,” Ferrer continued. “There is mounting evidence that these strategies work. The task in front of us is to be able to thread the needle so that we continue with our recovery journey while protecting the health and well-being of our residents, our workforce and our community. We have to do both.”

Public Health has a dedicated call line for confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services, call toll-free at (800) 540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.

The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.