LOS ANGELES - Health officials Tuesday announced 50 new cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles County, bringing the county's total up to 144.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer reminded the public that the increased number of cases will continue to rise because healthcare workers now have the ability to test more individuals for COVID-19.
Ferrer said that the increased number in cases should not be seen as a failure of social distancing measures, such as the closures of bars and gyms.
"If you look across the world, it generally takes three to four weeks to see the fruits of our labors," she said.
Ferrer said that most of the 50 new cases are still being investigated to determine sources of exposure. Three of the new cases were reported earlier in the day by officials in Long Beach, she said.
"If you can stay home and isolate, please do so," Ferrer urged the public.
Ferrer also reminded residents that anyone who has to go out should practice social distancing. If you're isolating, stay connected to loved ones by remaining in contact with them. If you're really stressed, you can call the Department of Mental Health's 24/7 helpline at 800-854-7771.
In addition to announcing the new cases, officials announced that Los Angeles County would be placing a moratorium on all evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. The moratorium applies to both residential and commercial properties in unincorporated areas. Tenants will have six months to pay back rent after the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Public Health has issued the following guidance during this time of increased spread:
• Avoid non-essential travel, public gatherings, and places where large groups of people congregate.
• Event organizers postpone or cancel non-essential gatherings of 50 or more until at least the end of March.
• Limit gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (people older than 65,
pregnant women, and those with chronic illness) to no more than 10 people.
• This guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential
services, including public transportation, airport travel or shopping.
• If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home and call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms
worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting
their providers earlier when they are sick.
• Exclude employees and visitors with any fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms and visitors with recent
travel to any country or region with significant community transmission (including communities in the US) from
all schools, businesses, and gatherings of any size.
• Follow all social distancing recommendations issued by Public Health.
RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.