An alarming phase of the pandemic is underway in Los Angeles County, and Latinos are the group most impacted
To curb the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the Latino community and other heavily affected groups, the testing centers will expand over the next two weeks by 65% in Los Angeles County.
“We will have new testing sites in Panorama City, Montebello, South Gate, Azusa, Norwalk, Downey and Compton, and we will expand those already in Bell Flowers, El Monte, Pomona and East Los Angeles,” said Jacqueline Valenzuela, advisor from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soar in Los Angeles County, the demand for testing is increasing with each passing day.
On July 15, Mily Álvarez was tested to see if she contracted the coronavirus. ‘I tried on Sunday July 12 to get the appointment on-line, but I didn’t get it until Monday, July 13, ”he explained.
For almost two weeks, he said that he felt weak, tired, had back pain, very low defenses and even lost his sense of smell. “I started with a cold, then the cough came. To rule out any possibility that it is the coronavirus, I went to have the test, ”said Mily, who lives in the city of Montebello. “They gave me the appointment at 10:30 in the Lincoln Park. I arrived at 10:15. I had already left by 11 am ”.
More than 1,409 people have been tested in Los Angeles County. 9% have tested positive for the virus.
Dr. Erika Flores Uribe of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services said people can go anywhere from the 38 test centers in the county, but they must first make an appointment. on-line or by phone.
“It is not necessary for them to go by car to take the test, they can walk in,” he said.
And he commented that they work to bridge the digital divide and make online access points easier. “In many places you can make appointments over the phone.”
Los Angeles County has earmarked $ 4 million for outreach to communities most affected by the coronavirus, including the distribution of flyers at stores and faith-based organizations.
The news of the opening of more COVID-19 test centers is given to the Just as for the first time since the pandemic began, hospitalizations have skyrocketed.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed that There are 2,193 people hospitalized, 26% in intensive care rooms and 17% with ventilators..
Supervisor Hilda Solis warned young people that their youth does not protect them from the coronavirus.
“In April, 10% of cases were from youth. Now they represent 25% in our hospitals; and 44% of all COVID-19 patients are between 18 and 40 years old “, he pointed.
And he cited the case of a 33-year-old female runner who, after running a mile, began with the symptoms of coronavirus. “For two weeks, she was unable to breathe, had seizures, and felt very bad. She is barely recovering, but in three and a half months she has not stopped having symptoms. “
Supervisor Solís advised against hanging out with large groups of friends outside the home. “It is not worth the risk, you better connect virtually. This virus is very dangerous. Always have the cloth mask on your face when you go out. ”
Valenzuela, the Health Services advisor, said this week has been the one with the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began. “Only on July 14 we had 73 deaths from coronavirus. The last time a very high number was recorded was a day in May at 76, ”he said.
He added that we cannot flatten the curve without everyone doing their part.
Since the pandemic began, 143,009 positive coronavirus cases have been identified, and a total of 3,932 deaths as of July 14 in Los Angeles County. 93% of people who died had pre-existing health conditions. 45% of all deaths were from Latinos.
Data from the Los Angeles County Department of Health indicates that Latinos and African Americans are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 compared to whites. MWhile communities with high levels of poverty are four times more likely to perish from the coronavirus than those with high income levels.
Among the influencing factors are racism, discrimination and lack of access to health, Valenzuela said.
A new order from Governor Gavin Newsom issued this week to prevent more deaths and hospitalizations, forced the closure of gyms, churches, indoor protests, beauty salons and barbershops, massage services, nail salons, and tattoos.
Restaurants, museums, aquariums and other businesses operating outdoors are permitted.