Above: Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd
S. E. Williams | Contributor
Los Angeles, CA – On Tuesday afternoon March 24, 2020 Los Angeles County health officials announced three new deaths related to COVID-19. One of the individuals was under the age of 18 years, apparently the first child in the country to succumb to the coronavirus. The other two individuals who died were both between 50 and 70 years of age.
Not much information was released about the deceased beyond the individual under 18 years of age resided in Lancaster. Also, one of the other deceased victims had underlying health conditions and resided in West Adams, while the domicile of the other individual is still under investigation.
Los Angeles County health officials stressed, “Because there are positive cases across the entire County, the public should not think one location is safer than the other.”
Over the last 48 hours there have been 256 new cases. “Additional information regarding some of the new cases is pending further investigation,” official noted.
Public Health officials in the county stated they are investigating all new cases and will notify close contacts who are household members, intimate partners and healthcare professionals to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness.
“All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined,” official noted adding, “It is critically important that everyone adheres to all the social distancing measures and practice good public health hygiene, including washing hands as frequently as possible.”
Commenting about the recent deaths Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd lamented, “Each loss we experience in LA County is tragic, and we are sending our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones who’ve had to endure this tragedy.”
She continued, “COVID-19 does not discriminate by age, race or income level, and what we are seeing in places like New York is indicative of what we should prepare to experience here. While Public Health is doing everything possible to mitigate the impact of this disease in our community, we can only flatten the curve if EVERYONE takes social distancing—about six feet between individuals—seriously and adheres to all isolation and quarantine orders issued by our Health Officer.”
On March 21, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department issued an enhanced Health Officer Order to reconcile elements in its March 19 Health Officer Order necessary to be consistent with the Governor’s Order.
Los Angeles County’s enhanced Order prohibits all gatherings and events and clarifies that golf courses and personal grooming services (including hair and nail salons) are non-essential services that should remain closed.
View the order online at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/.