LA County Public Health Director: Approaching "A Dangerous Place" Due to Rise in COVID-19

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Photo credit (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The LA County Public Health Director is issuing a warning Monday about the coronavirus outbreak.
On Sunday, LA County Public Health agreed with the California Governor's directive to close down bars saying "the County Health Officer Order will be amended today to require that all bars, breweries, brewpubs, pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in L.A. County close unless they are offering sit-down dine-in meals. This includes closing bar areas in restaurants."  On Sunday, Gov. Newsom directed bars to close down in LA County and six other counties that have high numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Hospitalizations and cases have been on the rise in California. On June 18, Newsom announced a statewide mandate on wearing masks in public. Newsom also threatened to cut funding from California counties who weren't adhering to the COVID-19 safety measures.

To date, in LA County there are 1,717 people currently hospitalized, higher than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. Testing results are available for over 1,056,000 individuals, with 9% of people testing positive. The cumulative positivity rate has increased from 8% to 9%, and the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.7% today. To date, Public Health has identified 97,894 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,305 deaths.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer tells KNX that we're approaching a 'dangerous place' because of rising cases of the virus. She tells KNX 1070 News that if the trend continues we will be in a dangerous place where we could easily start to see hospitals overcrowded and then potentially overwhelmed. But she said "it's not too late to turn this around."
 "That puts us in a place where we could easily start to see our hospitals get overcrowded. And that would be the gamechanger for us here in LA County. We can't get to a place where we overwhelm the healthcare system," she said.
She said "the most troubling indicator for LA County right now is the huge increase in the number of people that are hospitalized every day. So we have gone from about an average of about 1,400 people being in the hospital every day to about 1,700 people being in the hospital every day."
She also says there is confusion among the public when it comes to health advice. She says officials have to keep all options open on dealing with the virus such as asking again for a hospital ship to come to Los Angeles and once more stopping hospitals from carrying out elective surgeries.
But she says it is not too late to turn the situation around if everyone -- businesses and individuals -- follows the guidelines of protecting health by wearing masks, washing hands and keeping social distance.
Ferrer has also received death threats as she is the face of telling the public about COVID-19 in LA County.