COVID-19 update: 245,000 cases in LA County

Airmen+with+the+186th+Air+Refueling+Wing+administer+COVID-19+tests+at+the+Bonita+Lakes+mobile+COVID-19+testing+facility+on+April+1%2C+2020.+

Tech. Sgt. Adam Vance

Airmen with the 186th Air Refueling Wing administer COVID-19 tests at the Bonita Lakes mobile COVID-19 testing facility on April 1, 2020.

Vincent Medina

LA County has reached 245,000 COVID-19 cases as of Friday, the most of any county in California. LA County also has the most deaths in the state with 6,000 as of Friday, making it the Coronavirus’ epicenter in California.

This has contributed to California becoming the first state to pass 700,000 Covid-19 cases. According to the LA Times, cases are likely higher than what is currently being reported.

The state has also reached more than 13,000 coronavirus related deaths.

Despite the record-breaking number of cases, LA County is pushing to reopen. New cases have begun to stabilize, allowing some businesses and K-12 schools to reopen.

The LA Times reports that on Sept. 14, K-12 schools will offer in-school services to children who have English as a second language and children with disabilities. Schools will be able to provide these services as long as safety protocols are followed.

Barbershops will also be allowed to open indoors at 25% capacity. Employees and customers must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Malls will stay closed until further notice.

“The improvements we see do not mean victory,” said L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said in a statement to the LA Times. “It is still easy to transmit, and often people who are contagious don’t have symptoms.

The CDC recommends that people get tested for the Coronavirus if they experience symptoms or have had close contact with another person who has tested positive for the virus.

LA County offers local testing centers.

Jessica Ravo was tested at Bellflower City Hall, stating she was concerned that she attended a party where somebody tested positive for the virus.

“Everybody was accommodating,” Ravo said. “Hopefully, this ends soon.”

Test sites, such as the one in Downey, say they have plenty of tests for people.

“We get deliveries every week,” said Laurene Ortiz, medical assistant and supervisor of the Downey COVID-19 testing site.

“People must make an appointment on the county website,” Ortiz continued. “They will show their confirmation to a staff member, then we will hand them a test they can administer themselves in their car. After they place their tests in a blue bin and leave. We clear the bins and put them in a cooler every two hours.”

Ortiz also hopes the state will do more advertising for testing sites since the Downey test site does not receive many patients.

Each test site is slightly different, such as the test site in Bell Gardens.

“After making an appointment, patients will pick a parking space, and a medical assistant will administer the test for them,” described Jessica Sanchez, a medical assistant at the Bell Gardens test site. “We also allow walk-in testing to be more accommodating to patients.”

While the test site in Bell Gardens also has enough tests, they are running low on hospital gowns for nurses and medical assistants.

“We are asking everyone in LA County to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus,” Ortiz said.