Malibu had up to 69 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus among residents as of Wednesday, July 15, marking an increase of 12 cases since last Tuesday. City Manager Reva Feldman announced at Monday’s city council meeting that Malibu had marked its second reported death due to the virus.
The deceased has not been identified. Malibu’s first reported death was that of John Bell, who was killed by COVID-19 in April.
Malibu closed down both its brand-new skatepark and Malibu Bluffs Park on Sunday, July 12, because visitors would not abide by COVID-19 rules.
Malibu’s case numbers reflect an increase across Southern California, albeit a slower one. On Tuesday, July 14, Los Angeles Public Health confirmed the highest number of new cases—4,244—and hospitalizations—2,103—reported in a single day. There were also 73 new deaths.
That brings LA County to 140,307 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,894 COVID-19 deaths, according to Los Angeles County officials. That’s an adjusted case rate of 1,298 per 100,000 people and an adjusted death rate of 34 per 100,000 people.
“If we were an independent country, Los Angeles County would have the 20th most cases in the world,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told the LA
Times. “Put differently, we have more cases in Los Angeles County than all of Canada.”
Certain factors contribute to higher case numbers seen elsewhere in the county. The racial group most affected in LA County is Hispanic/Latino, which accounts for 46 percent of deaths. Due to racism and discrimination, the Latinx community has less access to uncrowded housing and healthcare and is at higher risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, according to Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County.
The LA Times reported that there have been large outbreaks at indoor work settings and factories, such as the garment manufacturer Los Angeles Apparel, where 300 employees contracted the virus. So far, four of those 300 have died.
The city of Los Angeles COVID-19 threat level remains at orange, but is inching closer to red. “Red is when everything shuts down again to our strictest level,” Garcetti said. “I do want to warn people that we’re close to that.”
Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday that counties that do not meet statewide standards—including Los Angeles County—must close indoor operations at: “fitness centers, places of worship, indoor protests, offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and malls, unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up.” Neighboring Ventura County is subject to the same rules.
LA County Public Health Officials will issue a Public Health Officer Order to comply with Newsom’s orders. This new order will affect Malibu.
Malibu Mayor Mikke Pierson was not immediately available for comment.
LA County said it has tested more than 1,336,000 citizens and that it currently operates 47 testing sites. Readers should contact their healthcare provider or visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing to find their nearest testing center, and then should call that specific center to check that it is operating.