With Los Angeles County now a leading hot spot of America’s coronavirus crisis, the statistics are hard to process. A person is dying every 10 minutes. And Mayor Eric Garcetti noted Sunday that a person is getting infected every six seconds.
But one thing about the pandemic has not changed during the darkest phase: those who suffer most. For those with the means to stay home and the strength to avoid gatherings, COVID-19 has remained a relatively low risk. For people living in crowded conditions and who must work, it’s become an even more mortal threat.
Workplaces remain an area of growing concern, amid new outbreaks at retail establishments as well as other businesses deemed essential. The massive increase in cases makes the chances of workplace transmission higher.
“If you had a workplace before where you had 500 workers, there might be one person who was infected, so the risk of transmitting it to a lot of people was lower,” Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Los Angeles County’s chief medical officer, said Sunday. “But now, with the prevalence of infection at 1% or higher, if they have 500 employees, maybe five are infected. And it magnifies the chances it can spread in the workplace.”
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