County Health Officials Warns That COVID-19 Can Infect Children

Los Angeles County health officials warned again today that the coronavirus can infect children as easily as it can adults, while also reporting three additional local cases of a pediatric inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 infections.

“Over 21,000 COVID-19 cases have occurred in children aged 0 to 17 years old,” county public health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “COVID-19 spreads among children the same way it spreads among adults — exposure to symptomatic or asymptomatic people infected with the virus.

“As we look at ways to safely offer opportunities for children to be supported in their learning, we must do so taking every precaution to limit exposures and spread of COVID-19,” she said. “That is why we ask that every operator of childcare, day care, day camps, pods and recreational programming implements all the mandatory infection control and physical distancing directives attached to the county health officer order.”

The county Department of Public Health on Friday also confirmed another three local cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, bringing the total to 28. The syndrome affects primarily children, but can be found in people up to age 20, resulting in inflammation of body parts including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin eyes and gastrointestinal organs, potentially having life-long health impacts.

There have not been any deaths from the syndrome reported in the county.

County health officials confirmed another 31 coronavirus deaths today, while officials in Long Beach announced three additional fatalities. The countywide number of deaths since the start of the pandemic stood at 5,735 as of Friday.

The county announced another 1,509 confirmed infections, while Long Beach reported 79 new cases and Pasadena added 14. The new cases lifted the countywide cumulative total to 238,551.

The number of people hospitalized as of today was 1,168, the same number as Thursday, but still well below last month, when the number topped 2,000.

Although coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations have been declining, the county Department of Public Health continued to warn residents not to become lax in following preventive guidelines, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing.

In a statement Thursday, the agency recognized the resurgence of protests in recent days, fueled by the Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake, and noted planned gatherings Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium.

The county urged people planning to take part in such events to stay home if they are sick, seek medical attention if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, wear a face covering, try to maintain physical distance from others, bring along hand sanitizer and keep your hands clean.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released a revised system for tracking counties’ efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and providing guidance on possible reopening of more businesses and schools.

The revised system authorizes the county to allow the reopening of indoor barbershops and hair salons, and the reopening of indoor shopping malls at 25% capacity, beginning Monday. But the county stressed that local officials had not yet fully reviewed the new state guidance, and the local health order has not been changed to allow such businesses to reopen. Counties are authorized to enact stricter health regulations than the state.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in West Hollywood has increased by four to 492. The Health Department’s COVID-19 database today reports that the number of West Hollywood residents who have died of COVID-19 related illnesses is five.

In Beverly Hills, the number of confirmed infections has increased by four to 613. The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Beverly Hills remains at 11. The number of COVID-19 infection confirmed among Culver City residents has increased by one to 370. The number of deaths remains at 29. Hollywood has nine newly confirmed infections, bringing its total to date is 1,050. The number of deaths remains at 11. The Melrose neighborhood has six new confirmed infections, bringing its total to date to 1,724. The number of COVID-19 related deaths has increased by one to 64.

Public Health has a dedicated call line for confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services, call toll-free at 1 (833) 540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 can continue to call 211 for resources or more information.

One way the virus can be transmitted is through a cough, a sneeze or even through air that comes from the mouth when someone talks. For that reason, residents must wear face coverings when out in public and can be cited for not doing so. The citations come with a $250 fine and a $50 administrative fee.

West Hollywood residents with questions about the COVID-19 pandemic or who are looking for resources to deal with it can find answers on the City of West Hollywood’swebsite. Here is a list of links to sections about particular subjects and issues:

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