Statement on Spike in COVID-19 Cases

As we head into our ninth month of this pandemic – no one should think this is business as usual. We are seeing increases across all COVID-19 metrics including the number of cases, positivity rates, and hospitalizations.

If COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remain high or continue to increase, we must consider additional measures to slow the spread and put the public’s health first. While we must not jump to any conclusions before the Board of Supervisors has had time to fully consider all options and listen to input from the public, I trust we will also be prioritizing the need to safely keep the economy open. We must also look for structural ways to remind everyone that the safest place to be right now is at home. Potential options could include instituting a curfew, so businesses do not have to close again, but would instead have limited hours for essential activities.

Younger people continue to drive the increase in community transmission in Los Angeles County. Residents between the ages of 30- and 49-years-old represent 34% of new cases, followed by residents between the ages of 18- and 29-years-old who comprise 27% of all new cases. While young people may not be hospitalized at the same rates as older members of our communities, they have the potential to spread the virus to those most at risk. The rise in cases also complicates planning for increasing the numbers of students returning to schools, further re-opening additional sectors, and permitting additional activities.

Many are understandably frustrated, especially as the holidays approach, as people feel strongly about maintaining the tradition to be around friends and family. Additionally, with the onset of cold weather, it becomes difficult to hold events outdoors. However, it is imperative that we remain patient, stay safe, and continue to put the health of our families and our communities first.

We must never lose sight of the extremely vulnerable Angelenos experiencing homelessness as the pandemic worsens during the flu season. They must not be an afterthought when it comes to protecting our communities. Our homeless residents will be hardest hit, and the pandemic poses additional obstacles and challenges to the County’s initiative to immediately bring everyone in.

We have all taken great efforts and made sacrifices to protect the health and safety of our loved ones and our neighbors—housed and unhoused—and this is the time to keep pushing on and be resilient. We must not give up.