Metrics Continue to Rise in Los Angeles
Last week, L.A. County’s positive test rate continued to rise, reaching over 10%. Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted that cases are surging, hospitalizations are rising, and the county is seeing a lot more community spread. On July 8, 2020, Dr. Ferrer presented slides showing rising cases, positive test rates, and hospitalizations. And on July 10, 2020, the County tweeted that “[u]pward trends continue for deaths and hospitalizations.”
In response, both the City and the County have increased testing capacity, adding appointments and working to bring new testing locations online. For instance, on July 8, 2020, L.A. County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly noted that the County’s testing sites were at capacity for the week. The County announced that it is working to open up to eight additional testing sites, with plans to increase appointments at existing sites. Dr. Ghaly said that the County was adjusting the prioritization for testing because demand was rising and outpacing available appointments. Testing is now being focused on individuals who have symptoms, who work in a high-risk environment or who have come in contact with a person known to have been exposed to the virus.
On July 7, 2020, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion ordering the Director of Public Health and County Counsel to provide a report on creating a system of enforcement, including fines, to increase compliance with Stay-at-Home and Health Orders. The County is evaluating the imposition of fines and license revocations for habitual violations of applicable law. The report is due by July 21, 2020. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl stated that she would also introduce a motion to create a worker reporting system for employees to report violations of COVID-19 safety measures directly to the Department of Public Health. More information here.