More than 50 new deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in Los Angeles County on Friday, and with 43% of the county’s deaths occurring in skilled nursing homes, new restrictions were imposed on all long-term care facilities to ban visitors and prohibit joint activities. in.
Another 52 deaths from coronavirus were reported on Friday by Barbara Ferrer, director of the district’s Department of Public Health, although that number included one death reported Thursday afternoon by the city of Pasadena, which has its own health agency.
Long Beach, which also has its own health agency, announced two additional deaths, bringing the total to 29 cities.
The new deaths bring the total area to 850. Ferrer said one death previously reported in the county turned out to be a resident of another jurisdiction.
Ferrer notes that 91% of people who have died of disease in the area have an underlying health condition.
Ferrer also reported 1,035 other confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 18,517. Pasadena then reported six other cases, while Long Beach added 22 more cases, bringing the total area to 18,545.
A total of 293 institutional arrangements – including nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, shelters, prisons and prisons – have at least one case. These institutions have accounted for a total of 5,339 cases, and 365 deaths, representing 43% of all corona virus deaths in the area. Most of the deaths were residents of skilled care facilities, where testing is being boosted starting Monday to include all residents and staff regardless of whether they show symptoms.
The continuing increase in cases and deaths in nursing homes pushed district health officials Friday to issue revised orders that apply to all “combined health care,” or long-term care, facilities, Ferrer said.
The order prohibits non-essential visitors to the facility, so that only important workers can enter.
“This postpones all joint meals and activities … to ensure that there is sufficient distance between the residents who live there,” Ferrer said. “Staff will be asked to always wear surgical masks and use personal protective equipment if appropriate. And residents also need to wear surgical masks or face masks when they are outside their private rooms.”
He said the increase in tests that would begin Monday was also part of the new health order, but the plan was announced earlier because of the continuing increase in cases and knowledge that people who were unconsciously infected could spread the disease even though they had no symptoms. .
Improved testing of all residents and nursing home workers, regardless of symptoms, is being carried out in conjunction with the city of Los Angeles. Ferrer said facilities with the most severe outbreaks would be given top priority, but all houses would get increased testing.
Nursing homes have been a concern since the outbreak began, given the close limits of patients and staff. This week, members of the California National Guard were deployed to four nursing homes in the county to assist with the operation, mainly due to lack of adequate staff as a result of the spread of the virus.
“We are not asking for the National Guard, but we are asking for help,” Ferrer said. “And the National Guards are great. We did ask the states to help us in staffing. The easiest thing for them to do is mobilize the National Guards and we are very grateful because they did. And they continue to give us support.”
On Friday, more than 108,000 people were tested for the corona virus in the area, with 15% positive, Ferrer said.
Ferrer announced Thursday that an average of 44 people had died of the corona virus during the previous 12 days, making COVID-19 the leading cause of death in the area, which surpassed flu, lung disease and heart disease.
Of the 848 people who died of coronavirus in the county, ethnic data are available for 771 people. Of those, 37% are Latinx, 28% white, 18% Asian, 15% black, 1% native to Hawaii / Pacific Islands and the other 1%.
Included in more than 18,500 cases in the district were 100 homeless people, most of them due to the plague under investigation at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Ferrer said the county was still waiting for some test results from the facility, but officials said earlier this week that at least 56 people had tested positive, and one staff member had died.