LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County reported 494 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 more deaths today, bringing the county's totals to 248,821 cases and 6,030 fatalities.
Officials with the county's Department of Public Health said the relatively low number of new cases reflected both a delay in test and death reports usually seen on weekends and the closure of testing sites over the Labor Day holiday.
The number of people hospitalized in the county continued its steady decline, dropping from 966 Sunday to 943. County officials noted that figure is at least a 50% drop from early August totals that topped 2,000.
Testing results were available for 2,380,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
“To the families mourning their loved one lost to COVID-19, we wish you healing and peace as we keep you close to our hearts during the days ahead,” County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “Today, as we celebrate the labor movement and the social and economic achievements of American workers, let's honor our workers with deliberate actions that protect them from COVID-19. We honor our workers and the meaning of Labor Day by being caring customers, responsible business owners and operators, and organized workers. Responsible business owners and operators fully implement infection control and distancing directives for your business. Caring customers wear face coverings and keep distance from all others.
“Organized workers practice infection control protocols and report violations immediately to Public Health at 888-700-9995; complaints and concerns can be reported anonymously. Together we protect our workers, slow COVID-19 spread, and save lives,” she continued.
The department offered the following tips for businesses:
-- Allow employees to stay home if they're feeling sick;
-- Modify workplaces to ensure distancing among employees and customers as much as possible;
-- Provide face coverings to all employees;
-- Ensure regular breaks so that employees can clean their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer after contact with frequently touched surfaces or other people;
-- Post large, clearly visible signs outlining infection-control measures;
-- Train employees on Public Health safety measures including recognizing when a customer is out of compliance as well as company strategies on how to remedy the situation;
-- Consider having extra face coverings available for customers who might not have one;
-- Encourage contact-less transactions, curbside pick-up, and online purchases;
-- Report outbreaks as soon as possible. If a workplace has three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases within 14 days, they must call Public Health immediately at 888-397-3993.
Health officials continue to track the number of positive cases and deaths among health care workers. On Sunday, they announced a total of 87 deaths and 14,448 positive cases among health care workers and first responders in Los Angeles County.
Nurses account for the majority of cases (37%) and deaths (41%) within the sector. One-third of health care workers who tested positive for the virus worked at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and 26% worked at hospitals.
County officials are hoping to avoid a repeat of the coronavirus setbacks experienced following the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, which led to dramatic spikes in virus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. All three of those metrics have been trending downward in recent weeks in the county, and health officials have been making pleas for the past two weeks that residents avoid Labor Day parties or gatherings with people outside their own households.