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Protecting workers and elderly remains everyone’s responsibility during pandemic


With increases in the number of cases, hospitalizations and outbreaks at worksites, along with the test positivity rate, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) encourages everyone to layer in additional protections to safeguard those most vulnerable, especially workers and the elderly from COVID-19.

Cases continue to increase in LA County, as the average number of daily new cases reported over the last seven days increased to 4,442 from one month ago when the number reported was 1,935 – an increase of 130 percent.

While hospitalizations remain relatively modest, higher case numbers have translated to an increase in the number of people hospitalized.

Older adults are substantially more likely to require hospitalization than younger individuals and the number of older adults requiring hospitalization has increased significantly with this latest surge in cases. On April 23, the COVID hospitalization rate for residents 80 years old and older was 37 per 100,000 people. One month later, on May 23, the hospitalization rate for residents 80 years old and older was 67 per 100,000 people, an 82 percent increase.

With high rates of transmission, outbreaks across many sectors are also increasing. One month ago, for the two-week period ending May 2, there were 14 outbreaks opened at skilled nursing facilities, 15 outbreaks opened among people experiencing homelessness, and 40 outbreaks opened at worksites. For the two-week period ending May 30, there were 35 outbreaks opened at skilled nursing facilities (150 percent increase), 32 outbreaks opened among people experiencing homelessness (113 percent increase), and 62 outbreaks opened at worksites (55 percent increase).

Outbreaks at schools remained high with 28 outbreaks opened during the two-week period ending May 30.

And while many of those infected experience mild or moderate illness, the risk is not equally distributed. Older people and those with chronic health conditions remain at higher risk, even if vaccinated. With the most infectious variants to date circulating across LA County, reducing possible exposures makes a difference, particularly for those working at jobs that put them in close contact with many other workers and customers during the course of the day.

“As always, we extend our deepest sympathies and prayers for healing to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one from COVID,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, director of Public Health.

“With high rates of transmission across LA County, there is increased risk that our most vulnerable, including essential workers and the elderly, can get infected, seriously ill, or tragically pass away,” she added. “And with outbreaks increasing across nearly every sector, protecting those most vulnerable becomes everyone’s responsibility. The most important steps we can take is to be up-to-date on vaccinations and boosters, wear a mask indoors when around others, and get tested if we feel sick, were exposed, or are gathering with others. When we take these steps, we take care of each other.”

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at