4,244 new cases, 73 new deaths

Los Angeles County on Tuesday, July 14 broke its single-day record for the highest number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, signaling a disturbing turn of events as the statewide situation continues to worsen.

The LA County Public Health announced 4,244 confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 140,307. Additionally, 73 people have died due to complications from the coronavirus and 2,103 patients are currently hospitalized (27% require intensive care and 19% are on ventilators).

The positivity rate among Angelenos remains at 9%.

“Today’s numbers are alarming and unfortunately are the result of many businesses and individuals not adhering to the basic public health requirements of distancing and wearing face coverings,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, said in a daily briefing on Tuesday. “We are just not able to continue on a recovery journey without everyone doing their part. Keeping businesses open is only possible if we get back to slowing the spread.”

The spike in cases in LA County — which has the most countywide cases in the country — comes one day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered new statewide lockdown mandates to mitigate the spread of the virus. In response, LA County issued an amended local health order to comply with the governor’s directive.

Ordered to close again were gyms, centers of worship, indoor protests, personal care services and salons, indoor malls, bars, indoor dining, indoor museums, indoor operations at zoos and aquariums and all large events and gatherings.

Sherry Younge, a Filipina American who owns a hair salon called The Artform Studio in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, had reopened in mid-June after securing personal protective equipment for all of the staff, setting safety protocols for the salon, and having certain hours devoted to higher-risk clients.

“I am still calling it a new practice because this is what we’re going to have to live by for a very long time,” Younge told the Asian Journal.

On Monday, she was among the business owners who suddenly had to shut down again, though it was something she had anticipated would happen in the coming weeks.

”I knew that we could possibly shut down again, but I didn’t know when. I really thought it was going to be at least one more week so I was trying to get as many of my clients a little bit earlier to get them before the closure,” Younge said. “There was no possible way that everyone was going to be compliant. We’re very compliant when it comes to being clean for our clients. It’s not something where we take safety lightly so I was definitely frustrated when I heard, again, that we had to shut down. I believe that other industries that don’t require wearing a mask the whole time are the ones that should be shut down.”

She added that with the uncertainty around the latest round of closures, she will continue pivoting to online by offering lessons and videos on how clients at home can do their own hair cuts or coloring.

“These direct services are definitely what have been keeping us afloat for a very long time and to be stripped away from our livelihood, it’s so hard,” Younge said. “At least we have technology. Even if I do re-open, it’s still going to be a part of my services in between the physical clients that I see because there are people that are really at high risk.”

Newsom’s orders could potentially LA County closer to renewed stay-at-home orders, only allowing essential businesses to stay open given they follow social distancing protocol and mandate face coverings.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose efforts to slowly return city life back to normal, expressed concern in his daily COVID-19 update on Monday, saying that the city’s conditions could move its COVID-19 emergency status from “orange” to “red,” urging Angelenos to “stay home when you can, avoid gatherings and only visit businesses when you have to.”

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