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The COVID-19 Pandemic Didn’t Go Away And County Now Adds Health Inequity to the Fight

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

Location

Alhambra , CA

Los Angeles County’s press briefing Friday was about equality – or inequality – and reminding residents to be mindful that there is still a global pandemic happening.

Supervisor Hilda Solis gave her opening remarks that echoed L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer’s Monday comments, saying that racism and systemic inequalities are a “public health priority” and called for change and accountability.

As far as the pandemic health crisis, Department of Health Services Director Christina Ghaly said DHS and Public Health are working to increase testing access and integrate it into the more permanent and established health care systems, especially for communities of color.

Some of the ways DHS is addressing the longstanding inequities is to tailor their COVID-19 response by focusing on geographic accessibility, Ghaly said. DHS is working to allow communities to be tested and treated through health clinics and providers they already trust in their neighborhoods.

The county has applied for a $4 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address disparities. The money will be used for outreach materials in non-English languages, canvassing, increased daily testing, targeting vulnerable populations and more.

Though the data was gathered before many of the protests, there has been a slight uptick in transmission rates of COVID-19, from one person infected for every one person sick, to greater-than-one persons infected, and up-trending, according the Department of Health Services modeling.

Ghaly said ICU beds may become inadequate if a surge results from rapid increase. She and Ferrer strongly encouraged the same infection control measures: handwashing, face coverings and physical distancing.

In the place in her remarks where Ferrer usually thanks the public, health care workers and others who have been fighting to keep COVID-19 under control, she began her thanks to “everyone on the front lines,” but continued, “to end racism and oppression.”

Ferrer reminded the county that no matter what kind of large gathering you might be in this weekend, try to maintain physical distancing, and if you’re exposed to someone who isn’t wearing a face covering for more than 15 minutes, consider self-isolating for 14-days to monitor yourself for symptoms.

Testing sites are open. Though some locations have closed or moved so that  businesses can reopen, there are 73 testing sites throughout the county, including some at CVS pharmacies, state-run sites and community partners. Make an appointment.

In the last 24 hours there have been 36 COVID-19-related deaths, totaling 2,565 countywide, and 1,445 new cases, bringing the total to 61,054. Of the 671,000 people whose tests have been reported to the LACDPH, 8% are positive. In California, there have been 4,485 deaths and 122,901 confirmed cases as of last night, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Alhambra has 231 cases and the COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard still has 8 deaths listed.

For all of the county’s investigations of congregate settings, go to their locations page.


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Los Angeles County Department of Public Health page.

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

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