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County Announces July 4 Opening Goal; Alhambra Opens Testing To All Residents

Vital Medical Services nurses use nasal swabs to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing at City of Alhambra's mobile testing site. Photo by Helen Arase.

Location

Alhambra , CA

Los Angeles County announced the date they hope the have most business sectors open, including restaurants, retail shopping and malls. July 4 is the goal, but the county said there is much work to be done between now and then.

“Reopening has proven to be a lot harder than we envisioned,” L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at the daily press briefing.

Public Health and the LA County Board of Supervisors will work together, looking at science to guide decisions. The county is on its recovery journey, Ferrer says, and though they’re moving with some urgency to reopen some sectors of business, L.A. County has to “do a lot of things right so we can get to that date” and guarantee safety.

According to the county’s “roadmap to recovery,” each sector will have their own protocols that:

  • Protect and support worker health and safety
  • Ensure appropriate physical distancing
  • Ensure proper infection control
  • Communicate protocols with the public through signage
  • Ensure equitable access to services for vulnerable populations

Last week the county said it will continuously monitor five points in the capability of slowing the spread of COVID-19, and four in the effectiveness of preventing the spread of the virus, throughout the roadmap to recovery and move through the phases according to the data.

This announcement came as Ferrer reported another 76 deaths and 1,183 new cases. These figures make the toll of deaths in the county 1,913 and bring the number of cases to 19,573. The last time the death count was this high was just over a month ago, April 18, with 81 deaths.

The case count is increasing, but the rate of positivity is slowly decreasing.  Ferrer announced Tuesday that of the 358,000 people tested in LA County, about 9% were positive. She said that a few weeks ago, at the worst of L.A. County’s outbreak the positivity rate wavered around 13-15% and the last week was 10-11%.

Ferrer thinks that more asymptomatic people are getting tested and that is “driving down” the rate of positivity, simply because those who were being tested previously had to be ill, and therefore, had a higher chance of actually having COVID-19.

Previously, the City of Alhambra was only testing residents who were symptomatic and low-income; today it announced on Facebook that their testing has expanded to all Alhambra residents. According to the county’s COVID-19 surveillance dashboard, Alhambra has 148 cases and 8 deaths.

The city testing is run by Vital Medical Services and not linked to the county testing program. Residents of Alhambra who want to be tested by the city can sign up for an appointment through the end of the month by going to the City of Alhambra testing site.

Supervisor Hilda Solis, chair pro tem of the Board of Supervisors, began the daily press briefing with the daily plea for those who are symptomatic, high-risk or quarantined due to exposure to get tested at one of the county testing sites. County residents can make testing appointments at the L.A. County testing site.

Solis mentioned the Cal State L.A. testing site that is run by OptumServe and has extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and said the county has the ability to test 20,000 people per day with 35 testing sites throughout the county. Register directly at OptumServe or go through the county testing site to make an appointment at the Cal State L.A. site.

County Department of Health Services Director Christina Ghaly responded to a press question about testing capacity, saying that the “vast majority” of appointment time slots are reserved daily but a “few hundred remain unfilled.”

Of those who book testing appointments, the no-show rate is 10-20%, so Ghaly asked that if you’re going to schedule an appointment but are unsure if you will show up, please “preserve the access” for others until you know you can make your appointment.

The county also announced that the next results from their joint-study with USC on serology ­– or the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in a random sampling of county adults – will be announced as early as tomorrow.

For all of the county’s investigations of institutional settings, go to their locations page. For more detailed statistics and data, go to their COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard.


Want to help?

Need help?

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health page.

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


The Los Angeles County COVID-19 press briefing is streamed online at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, on the L.A. County Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

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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