By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Although people of all ages are at risk of being infected with COVID-19, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported that younger groups are currently driving the county’s case counts.
“Throughout the pandemic, people between the ages of 18 and 49 years old have had the highest number of cases, now accounting for 58% of all cases,” according to a statement that was released on October 19. “When you add teenagers, a group who may be out socializing, individuals between 12 through 50 years old account for 68% of new cases.”
Since early October, LA County’s average number of daily cases has increased from approximately 940 per day to nearly 1,200 per day.
“This increase, while not as steep as seen in July, is cause for concern,” according to Public Health officials.
As the Halloween weekend approaches, health officials remind community members to be mindful of preventing future spread.
LA County Health Officer Muntu Davis issued a health advisory on Monday, October 26, addressing private gatherings and public celebrations, reminding Angelenos “the risk of COVID-19 transmission at such celebrations is high based on the increasing rate of … community transmission in Los Angeles County.”
To prevent future spread of COVID-19, Davis included the following Public Health protocols: Though it is “best to celebrate at home with your household,” private gatherings must be outdoors with physical distancing between households, limited to three households, cloth face coverings worn when not eating or drinking, and limited to two hours or less.
Activities that will not be permitted as per Public Health guidance when it comes to Halloween celebrations include carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and haunted house attractions.
“There have been too many instances of people unknowingly spreading the virus at these types of gatherings, which, sadly, has led to new infections, serious illness and death,” Davis said. “We can prevent cases, but it will take action from each of us personally and collectively.”
Door-to-door trick or treating and “trunk or treating” type events are not recommended, as per Public Health guidelines, because neither guarantee proper social distancing practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Public Health permits and recommends online parties or contests, movie nights at drive-in theaters, Halloween-themed meals at outdoor restaurants, and Halloween-themed art installations at an outdoor museum.
Car parades that comply with Public Health guidance are also permitted.
“For now, it is simply not safe to celebrate the way we usually do,” County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. “Being close to others not in our household, carries with it a lot of risk for transmitting COVID-19, so it remains necessary to modify activities to be as safe as possible.”
As the Palisadian-Post went to print Tuesday, the number of cases of COVID-19 across LA County, factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, had reached 302,077 with 7,027 deaths. There were 153 confirmed cases in the Palisades, with 32 additional in Palisades Highlands.
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