Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Janet McLaughlin
Observer Staff Writer 

Seven Sheriffs Deputies Test Positive for Covid-19, as number of LA County Covid cases passes 3000

Nevertheless "We are also keeping an eye on housebound elderly and disabled people," said Sheriff Villaneuva.

 

Mary Leipziger

UCLA students waiting in line at Trader Joe's in Westwood

3/31/20: Seven Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies and staff have tested positive for Covid 19, reports LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. 49 are under medical quarantine, 102 are under personal quarantine.

"We have beefed up patrols--852 radio cars in the field. We are providing security for all the new hospital shelters, and all vacant stores," he says. "We are also keeping an eye on housebound elderly and disabled people. "

By way of contrast, about 1000 members of the 42,000 member New York City Police Department have tested positive for Covid-19. Another 5000 are calling in sick.

Also at the daily briefing, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Los Angeles County Dept. of Health reported 10 new deaths. Four deaths were people under age 65, with one under 41, she said, adding that not all had underlying health conditions.

One of the deaths yesterday was a health care worker over age 60, making that person the first death of a health care worker in LA Co.

Covid-19 has caused 54 deaths in LA Co, now. 1.8 per cent mortality rate, higher than US overall. 87 per cent of those who tested positive and passed away did have underlying health conditions, but the rest were in good health.

Ferrer reported 548 new cases in last 24 hours, 890 over the last 48 hours. Total now is 3011 in LA Co. 115 in Long Beach, 25 in Pasadena.

Last week, LA County's count of Covid-19 cases was just 799. "With today's count of over 3,000, we have more than tripled in a week, she said, noting that this was partially due to more testing. 19,000 people in the County have been tested, also a tripling.

Also it reflects more people infecting others. 79 per cent between 18-65 of all positive cases.

Ferrer reminded us that younger people may not experience serious disease but can infect others. 594 were hospitalized, about 20 per cent of all positive. Of the current number hospitalized (i.e.267)--173 are 55 and over and 45 per cent are over 65.

But all ages are hospitalized, she said. She reminded all age groups to socially distance, wash your hands, and avoid social situations.

Mary Leipziger

The intersection of Westwood Blvd and Wilshire Blvd was empty

Of the number hospitalized in LA County with Covid-19, 25 per cent are in an ICU. 34 per cent of those are 65 and older, and most have underlying health conditions. Six are under the age of 35. 20 nursing sites have cases, and one homeless shelter.

155 are testing positive, including staff and residents. Over 11 facilities have three or more cases. 19,300 people have been tested in LA Co., 12 per cent were positive, Ferrer says.

There is a growing spread of cases, Ferrer says. 4,000 more people got tested in the last couple of days. There are still long wait times, she said.

Testing remains a clinical decision by provider. CDC has new guidelines defining close contacts. Includes family, caregivers, co-workers less than six feet apart for at least 10 minutes. They all need to quarantine. CDC says if you had contact within 48 hours of someone who had symptoms and is presumed positive, you must self-quarantine."

 

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