Latinos make up nearly half of L.A. County COVID-19 deaths

Sloane Bozzi, Assistant News Editor

Los Angeles County has the most cases in the U.S., as other hotspots like New York have experienced a decrease in the number of new cases.

The Centers for Disease Control forecasts an upward trend in the number of deaths nationwide. Los Angeles County currently holds the record for the most confirmed cases in the nation.

We have compiled data and guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center to provide an update for L.A. County. Data is up to date as of August 14, 2020. Here is your weekly COVID-19 update.

Total cases:

Total count of cases and deaths as of Aug. 14. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in L.A. County on Jan. 26, the number of positive cases continues to rise. Roughly 2% of L.A. County’s population of 10 million has tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 curve of cumulative cases in L.A. County as of Aug. 14. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)


There are 1,393 COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized in L.A. County. 456 COVID-positive patients are in the Intensive Care Unit. The county currently has 977 available ICU beds.

The state’s goal is to keep hospitalization increases below 10%, and all counties in California are passing that goal. L.A. County’s hospitalizations are currently at -3.2%.

Race and ethnicity:
Los Angeles County’s data shows cases and deaths disproportionately affect people of color.

Breakdown of cases by race and ethnicity as of Aug. 14. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

The L.A. County Department of Public Health reports that Latinos make up 57.2% of cases with data on race and ethnicity, while the white population accounts for 12.2% of cases with data on race and ethnicity. Latinos account for almost 49% of all COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County.

Breakdown of deaths by race and ethnicity as of Aug. 14. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

In California, people of color are more likely to say coronavirus has seriously impacted their ability to meet their family’s basic needs, according to a poll conducted by UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.

Local official updates:

Unemployment benefits

President Donald J. Trump unveiled an executive order on Saturday that would give unemployed Americans $400 in additional benefits per week. The federal government would only cover $300, and states would be left to supply the additional $100.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called the $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits “simply inadequate” in a COVID-19 update on Wednesday.

California Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force

Newsom provided an update regarding the Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force created at the beginning of the pandemic. The task force developed reopening guidelines for various sectors, signed a letter requesting more federal funding, and raised tens of millions of dollars to create the “Wear a Mask” campaign.

State data glitch

The data glitch announced last week that led to a backlog of cases is still being processed, Newsom said on Wednesday.

California Public Health director resigns

Dr. Sonia Angell resigned from her position as director and state public health officer at the California Department of Public Health on Sunday amid the state’s troubles processing COVID-19 data.

What’s open:
Grocery stores
Essential retail
Some non-essential retail with modifications
Parks and beaches with modifications
Golf courses
Shared residential pools
Nail salons (outdoors with modifications)
Hair salons (outdoors with modifications)
Gyms (outdoors with modifications)

What’s closed:
Indoor dining at restaurants
Indoor houses of worship
Indoor gyms
Indoor shopping malls
Tattoo shops
Indoor barber shops

Face masks are still required in public. Gatherings should be limited to only people in your household, according to health officials.


The L.A. County website lists 121 testing locations available for both walk-up and drive-up testing. Testing is available by appointment only.

A free pop-up testing center will be in Pacoima on August 25 and 26. No appointment is necessary. A list of pop-up testing centers can be found here.

A comprehensive list of testing locations can be found here.