As the COVID-19 pandemic enters into a third season of the year, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) continues to introduce programs to promote public awareness, safety, mental health and contact tracing. To date, the agency has identified 278,665 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,726 deaths. In Beverly Hills, there have been 713 cases of COVID-19.
On Oct. 7, Public Health confirmed 1,645 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number of new cases in a single day reported since late August. However, officials say it is not indicative of a trend. Public Health reported a seven-day average of 2.8 percent testing positivity rate of positive lab-confirmed COVID-19. The County’s testing positivity rate has remained stable at a level close to 3 percent for several weeks. For comparison, in July the percent positivity was around 8 percent. The number of daily hospitalizations has remained steady at under 800 daily hospitalizations since mid-September. The 7-day average number of daily deaths continues to steadily decline by roughly 50 percent, from about 30 deaths a day at the end of August to about 15 deaths a day.
L.A. County continues to be in Tier 1, the most restrictive tier, of California’s four-phase reopening plan because the County’s adjusted case rate is 7.4 new cases per 100,000 people. Both test positivity rates meet the threshold for Tier 3. The overall test positivity rate is 2.8 percent, and the test positivity rate in the lowest-resourced areas is 4.6 percent, which indicates that community transmission is moderate.
However, the State incorporated an additional metric this week to their Blueprint for a Safer Economy. According to Public Health, most counties, including L.A. County, have significant differences in COVID-19 outcomes by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The new requirement for reopening during the pandemic mandates that counties with more than 106,000 residents must bring infections down in communities hit harder and invest heavily there in testing, contact tracing, outreach and providing means for infected people to self-isolate.
As of Oct. 7, indoor shopping malls are allowed to reopen with occupancy limited to 25 percent capacity, but all food courts and all common areas must remain closed. Nail salons, outdoor cardrooms and outside playgrounds have been allowed to resume operations with the required modifications in place. The school waiver application program for in-person learning for students in grades TK-2 also began accepting applications this week.
On Oct. 7, the County of Los Angeles also launched the COVID-19 Safety Compliance Certificate Program (CSCCP) to help educate and train business owners to implement Public Health’s COVID-19 safety directives.
The CSCCP is a free online training course that educates business owners on the County Health Officer’s Orders and what to do to ensure that their business practices are aligned and in compliance with infection control and physical distancing requirements. After completing the training, businesses will receive a COVID-19 Safety Compliance Certificate that can be displayed on storefronts. The training will be available in 13 languages and can be accessed online through the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 website or by visiting publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/covid19cert.htm.
This voluntary program is highly recommended, offering businesses, employees and consumers reassurance that essential training has been completed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that do not participate in the training are required to display Public Health COVID-19 Protocols in their storefronts.
Other programs launched by L.A. County include a partnership with Citizen, a mobile app that sends users location-based safety alerts in real time, and SafePass, a mobile app that provides contact tracing capabilities for individuals throughout the County.
SafePass allows users to anonymously self-report their symptoms for COVID-19 and receive notifications and alerts directly from the Public Health. All data is private, encrypted, and deleted after 30 days by Citizen. Officials encourage residents to download the app to expand local efforts to track COVID-19 for L.A. County’s 10 million residents.
“The County’s partnership with SafePass is a valuable tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout our region,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “The success of the SafePass App relies on a continued sense of community impact among our residents by asking individuals to do their part to protect themselves and their neighbors.”
The County continues to respond to the COVID-19 emergency with essential services for residents and businesses ranging from food and monetary support to mental health and free or low-cost healthcare. Beginning this month, Public Health and the L.A. County Library will be offering free flu vaccines to those six months of age and older at select library locations across the County. Flu shot clinic dates and locations for October and November 2020 are being finalized and will be announced once available. Health insurance will not be required.
My Health LA is a no-cost health care program for residents of LA County that is free to individuals and families who do not have and cannot get health insurance. Health care services are provided by non-profit clinics called “Community Partners.” There are over 200 Community Partner clinics in My Health LA. To find the closest one, visit
With stress, anxiety, and depression on the rise during the pandemic, the L.A. County Department of Mental Health’s (LACDMH) 24/7 Helpline at 800-854-7777) is available to provide mental health support, resources and referrals. LACDMH has also partnered with Headspace to offer a collection of mindfulness and meditation resources at no cost to all L.A. County residents. The free Headspace Plus subscription includes access to hundreds of science-backed guided meditations in English and Spanish, as well as movement and sleep exercises to help manage stress, fear and anxiety related to COVID-19.
Health officials continue to stress that it is important if someone thinks they could be positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results, to stay at home and act as if they are positive. This means self-isolating for 10 days and 24 hours after symptoms and fever subside.
If someone is positive for COVID-19 and has not yet connected with a public health specialist or needs more information on services, call toll-free at 1-833-540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.