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County Stays the Course, Keeps COVID-19 Closures on the Table

Rose Bowl mobile testing site, Pasadena, April, 2020. Photo by Helen Arase.

Location

Alhambra , CA

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is still asking residents to wear face coverings, wash hands and practice physical distancing 145 days after it declared a public health emergency.

The percentage of people testing positively each week has been climbing since the low point in mid-May, but the county is not enforcing additional closures at this time.

“We still have a lot of tools available to avoid the most stringent measures,” Public Health director Barbara Ferrer, “They work, if we use them.”

She said the period has given the county time to learn how to coexist with and slow the spread of COVID-19, though the science is always changing as new information is learned about the novel coronavirus.

At Monday’s press briefing, the county added a new set of “Three Cs” in addition to the ones to avoid – crowded places, confined spaces and close contact with others not in your household – the new positive “Cs” to follow: compliance, containment and collaboration.

Again, the county is asking that businesses comply with the health directives to protect employees and patrons, including alerting the health department when there is a positive case at their business. Residents are asked to continue to wear face coverings and practice basic infection control measures like hand washing.

Testing and “contact tracing” are the county’s tools for knowing who has the virus and where it is spreading. Contact tracing, or case interviews, are confidential and meant to gather information about who could potentially be infected from a positive case.

“We know our Black and brown neighbors and those in poorer communities are bearing the brunt of this virus,” Ferrer said. She stressed that testing and participating in tracing are an important part in combating the spread of the virus.

As an incentive to get more participation in contact tracing, the county is conducting a three-week pilot program. Beginning next week, anyone who fully participates in the contact tracing interview will get a $20 gift card from the county. If the program is successful, the county will repeat the program.

L.A. County is also partnering with community organizations, texting the close contacts of confirmed cases and set up a help hotline for confirmed cases.

Ferrer also stressed all local governments and business sectors must have clear, unified messages and strategies.

Over 1.6 million county residents have been tested and the overall rate of positivity is back up to 10%. A total of 176,028 COVID-19 positive cases and 4,375 deaths have been recorded.

L.A. County residents can sign up for a test on the county testing or state testing sites.

Alhambra is offering testing for residents through Aug. 11. Register for a test on the city’s testing website.

For the county’s COVID-19 information hub, go to the public health’s website, see the data visualizations or the Surveillance Dashboard.

To file a complaint with the health department against a business or property, including possible COVID-19 violations, go to the Environmental Health Division’s complaint form.

For all of the reporting from the Alhambra Source, go to our Stay Healthy page.

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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