Officials

Officials race to track down Californians most affected by COVID-19

State and local health officials are racing to get a clearer picture of who is most impacted by COVID-19, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and afflict some Californians disproportionately.

State officials will now be asking labs and testing sites to collect data on a patient’s sexual orientation and gender identity, and will demand better data collection on a patient’s ethnicity.

The announcement from officials Tuesday comes as Black, Latino and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander residents make up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths compared to the overall population. Health experts and advocacy groups say members of the LGBTQ community are also disproportionately harmed by the virus.

Though the rate of new infections has slowed slightly compared to that in late June and early July, certain parts of California are experiencing alarming COVID-19 surges. The Central Valley, as well as parts of Southern California like Imperial County,

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Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer announced on Tuesday that the county was modifying its health officer order to comply with the guidelines announced on Wednesday by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

“L.A. County’s really at a critical juncture at this point in time,” said Ferrer.

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“Immediate action is necessary in order for us to get back on track to slow the spread,” she added.

In terms of hard data, Ferrer said there had been 2,002 new cases over the last 24 hours. Ferrer added that that number was lower than recent reports because one major lab was late with its numbers. But it still marked the fourth day in a row that cases have been over 2,000. There have been 105,507 COVID cases total in L.A. County.

Ferrer revealed that the average daily total deaths over the

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