COVID-19 Update: Hospitizations on the rise, 2/3 of ICU beds still available in L.A. County

Sloane Bozzi, News Editor

Los Angeles County has the highest number of cumulative cases in the United States, while multiple other counties in California see a rise in the number of cases per capita.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecasts an upward trend in the number of deaths nationwide. L.A. 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 to provide an update for L.A. County. Data is up to date as of Nov. 12. Here is your weekly COVID-19 update.



Total cases:

Total count of cases and deaths as of Nov. 12. (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. Over 3% of L.A. County’s population of 10 million has had COVID-19.

COVID-19 curve of cumulative cases in Los Angeles County as of Nov. 12. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)



CSUN cases:

As of Nov. 9, there have been 27 reported cases among students and 18 reported cases among employees.

There are no current cases that have been reported due to an on-campus exposure.

Reported weekly cases as of Nov. 9 (CSUN)

These cases are reported to CSUN by individuals or public health officials. The university does not disclose the specific location of infected individuals for privacy reasons, but potentially exposed areas are disinfected prior to reopening.

If you test positive for COVID-19, whether or not you have been on campus, notify Yolanda Chassiakos, the CSUN Pandemic Manager, by emailing




There are 942 COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized in L.A. County. There are 266 COVID-19 positive patients in the Intensive Care Unit. The County currently has 648 available ICU beds.



Race and ethnicity:

Comparison of cases by race or ethnicity with population (Los Angeles Department of Public Health)

L.A. County’s data shows cases and deaths disproportionately affect people of color.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health reported that Latinos make up 60.7% of cases with data on race and ethnicity compared to the population, while whites account for 13.5% of cases compared to the population.

Latinos account for 51.7% of all COVID-19 deaths when compared to the population.

Comparison of deaths by race or ethnicity with population (Los Angeles Department of Public Health)



Local official updates:


One million people who have tested positive have also attended large gatherings

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti warned residents in a press conference on Tuesday that going out to large gatherings can quickly transform case hotspots to widespread infection rates.

“We’re looking at orange on the threat indicator, and while we’re not looking at going to red overnight, this next week or two will be crucial to determine what lies ahead and whether or not this increase is just temporary or a long term trend,” Garcetti said.

Through the County’s contact tracing, Garcetti said over 10% of people who have tested positive in the last week have also attended a gathering of 10 or more people.

Extended hours of operation at city testing sites

The city is ramping up their testing capacity and availability to residents as cases spike. During Tuesday’s press conference, Garcetti said the city’s testing sites now have the total capacity to test 32,400 people per day.

City testing sites have extended hours to fit the demand. Instead of closing at 2 p.m., test sites will remain open until 4 p.m. The Dodger Stadium testing center is now open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Workplace outbreaks have increased

Between Sept. 6 and Sept. 19, there were 23 outbreaks in non-healthcare and non-residential sectors, according to a press release from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. That number increased between Oct. 4 through Oct. 17 to 40 outbreaks in the same sectors.

During compliance checks between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, the LADPH issued citations to 44 non-compliant businesses. Since August, 260 total citations have been issued.


L.A. Department of Public Health launching Community Health Worker Outreach Initiative

The L.A. Department of Public Health is mobilizing a grassroots Community Health Worker Outreach Initiative to refocus on areas where cases are surging. These community health workers, called Promotoras, will connect residents with resources such as testing, food pantries, and housing services.

The County is dedicating $30 million to the program under the direction of L.A. County Supervisor and Chair Pro Tem, Hilda L. Solis.

“Promotoras are trusted community members who share the ethnicity, language and life experiences of the families they serve,” Solis said. “Their work is vital to address long-standing health inequities and inform those severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic of the critical services and programs the County of Los Angeles offers.”


L.A. Department of Public Health issues guidelines for celebrating holidays

The Department of Public Health has released its guidance for celebrating the holidays. Carnivals, festivals and department store holiday photo ops are not permitted, and door-to-door activities like caroling are not recommended.

The County suggests to do virtual holiday celebrations instead, as well as drive-through events that are compliant with vehicle-based parade guidance.

Gatherings of one or two additional households are permitted, so long as the gathering is outdoors and lasts no more than two hours, and attendees wear masks and stay six feet apart.

Residents should also take precautions if traveling this holiday season. Travelers should take into account the infection rate at their destination, as well as any quarantine requirements upon arrival. L.A. County recommends that residents self-isolate for two weeks upon return.


Pfizer announces vaccine is 90% effective at preventing COVID-19

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state’s Scientific Safety Review Workgroup has been meeting as a group to review the efficacy of other companies’ vaccines. Multiple other workgroups on the state level have been meeting to discuss guidelines for vaccine distribution when it becomes available.

Despite the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine, any successful vaccine will not be readily available until next year. Mass distribution is still a ways off, Newsom said. Healthcare workers and first responders will be prioritized in receiving the vaccine.


Statewide hospitalization rate is increasing

The statewide hospitalization rate has increased by 28.6% in the past 14 days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a press conference on Monday. That rate amounts to 4% of the state’s total healthcare capacity.

ICU admissions have increased by 27.3% in the past 14 days. That number is 11% of the total amount of ICU beds in California.



What’s open:
Grocery stores
Essential retail
Some non-essential retail with modifications
Parks and beaches with modifications
Golf courses
Hotels with modifications
Shared residential pools
Nail salons – limited to 25% capacity
Hair salons – limited to 25% capacity
Barber shops – limited to 25% capacity
Gyms (outdoors with modifications)
Indoor shopping malls – limited to 25% capacity
Zoos (outdoors with modifications)

What’s closed:
Indoor dining at restaurants
Indoor houses of worship
Indoor gyms
Tattoo shops
Face masks are still required in public. Gatherings should be limited to only people in your household.




The L.A. County website has a list of testing locations available for both walk-up and drive-up testing. Testing is available by appointment only.

A comprehensive map of testing locations can be found here. Hours of operation at city testing locations have been extended from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.