LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in consultation with the Board of Supervisors, has revised the Health Officer Order to allow for limited, on-campus operation for schools in L.A. County.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, schools K-12 may offer in-school services for small cohorts of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP), students requiring instruction for English as a Second Language (ESL) or students needing assessments or specialized in-school services, as long as the school is able to fully implement the Health Officer’s re-opening protocols.
All other students will still be limited to remote learning.
The county has seen downward trends in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations in recent weeks, and officials appear to be taking a cautious approach to reopenings to avoid a repeat of earlier spikes.
County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis announced another 51 COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, increasing the overall death toll in the county since the pandemic began to 5,888.
Davis said that 22 of Wednesday’s fatalities reported by the county were people over the age of 80. Strikingly, two of the deaths were people between the ages of 18 and 29 who had no underlying health conditions.
Meanwhile, there were 1,457 new cases announced by the county, bringing the cumulative figure to 244,004.
Since the start of the pandemic, health officials have confirmed 3,658 coronavirus cases and 62 deaths in Palmdale; 2,962 cases and 42 deaths in Lancaster; 147 cases and 11 deaths in Quartz Hill; 195 cases and four deaths in Lake Los Angeles; 166 cases and no deaths in the Littlerock/Pearblossom, Juniper Hills areas; and 151 cases and one death in Sun Village. View the latest detailed report here.
Davis said that more than 2.3 million people have been tested countywide, with 10% testing positive.
He also said there have been 1,589 cases involving people experiencing homelessness.
According to the county, the seven-day average daily number of new cases has dropped to 1,300, continuing a steady decline. Health officials have been reporting downward trends in new cases, deaths and hospitalizations — with 1,048 people hospitalized with the virus as of Wednesday.
Solis urged residents to continue to be diligent in following health guidelines over Labor Day weekend to prevent a resurgence of the virus. The Department of Public Health has been trying to promote that message for several days, particularly with hot weather expected over the long holiday weekend.
The Fourth of July and Memorial Day holiday weekends both resulted in dramatic spikes in coronavirus cases in the county.
In a statement Tuesday, the county Department of Public Health warned again that “it is important not to gather with people who aren’t part of your household as it puts you at risk for COVID-19.”
Los Angeles County is also gearing up for the coming flu season, with public health director Barbara Ferrer saying residents should get vaccinated, especially given the continuing threat of COVID-19.
“We are positive that we will have both influenza and COVID-19 circulating at the same time,” she told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. “While we don’t have a vaccination for COVID-19 at this time, we do have a vaccination for influenza.”
Solis also warned about the danger flu season poses this year, saying the flu could exacerbate coronavirus symptoms, so getting a vaccination for it “is more important now than ever.”
She said the county will host vaccine clinics and open pop-up sites to provide vaccinations in underserved communities.
Immunization is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. Vaccines are already available at some doctors’ offices, clinics and pharmacies, and Ferrer said the county should have its own stocks available next week.
If enough residents get vaccinated, it will help decrease the stress on the county’s health care system as it works to support patients fighting either COVID-19 or influenza, which have similar symptoms, Ferrer told the board.