As health inspectors continue to conduct visits to ensure infection control measures are in place in businesses across the County, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has created a tiered compliance and enforcement plan that will include citations and fines for businesses that continue to violate Health Officer Orders.
Since March, Public Health received a total of 17,808 Health Officer Order complaints and investigated more than 17,000 restaurants, more than 3,500 grocery stores, more than 600 pools, and more than 3,000 other businesses.
Twenty-six restaurants, one grocery store, one pool and 67 other businesses were shut down for Health Officer Order violations. Most of the businesses under investigation either came into compliance or were working to come into compliance and that’s why they were not closed.
Compliance with the Health Officer Orders is paramount for the long-term reopening of many economic sectors while ensuring the public health and safety of residents, which includes consumers and those who make up the workforce of these sectors.
Beginning at the end of August, fines will be issued to businesses that are non-compliant that can range from $100 for the first offense to $500 and a 30 day permit suspension for multiple offenses. This includes businesses licensed and permitted by the department and those that are not.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with families experiencing the grief of losing a loved one to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I’m pleased that we’re seeing great compliance in some areas and we want to continue to see that. But we need to plan for the long-term reopening of our economic sectors while ensuring the public health and safety of our residents and our workforce. We want to be reasonable and work with business owners, but we also know that time is of the essence to slow the spread of this virus and protect the health of workers, customers, and their families.”
Health Officer Orders are in place to prevent more cases, more serious illnesses, increased hospitalizations and more deaths. Current Orders require business owners to close indoor operations at many businesses and take immediate action to implement strategies that protect workers and customers.
Today, Public Health has confirmed 49 new deaths and 2,014 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health has identified 166,848 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 4,262 deaths.
Of the 49 new deaths, 30 people that passed away (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were over the age of 65 years old, 10 people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years, and seven people who died were between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Thirty-eight people had underlying health conditions including 25 people over the age of 65 years old, 10 people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old and three people between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and one death was reported by the City of Pasadena. There are 2,210 confirmed cases currently hospitalized, 28% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU and 19% are confirmed cases on ventilators. The number of hospitalizations has remained over 2,200 for five consecutive days.
Testing results are available for nearly 1,593,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
Ninety-two percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 3,976 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 47% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 26% among White residents, 15% among Asian residents, 11% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, 36 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents.
Because this virus is easily transmitted among people in contact with each other, business owners and residents must do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Public Health urges everyone to avoid the Three C’s: Crowded places, Confined spaces and Close contact with others not in your household. Everyone should always wear a face covering securely over your nose and mouth and keep six feet apart from others not in your household when out in public. Public Health reminds everyone that you remain safer at home.
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 a person has a positive lab result for COVID-19, expect a public health specialist from LA County Public Health to contact them by phone to interview about possible exposures and to identify others who may have also been exposed to the infection. The information is protected and cannot be shared with others except in emergency situations. A public health specialist will never ask for a social security number, payment or documented status.
Public Health has a dedicated call line for confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need 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.
The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website,