Coronavirus cases in L.A. County near 25,000

Health officials announced Saturday 38 more deaths in Los Angeles County from COVID-19 and 691 additional cases, bringing the county's totals to 24,894 cases and 1,209 deaths.   

"For those of you who are grieving a loved one lost to COVID-19, we are so sorry for your loss," the county's public health director. "As we plan for LA County's recovery phase, we are mapping a path forward that allows us to appropriately acknowledge the very real risks of COVID-19 and together, do everything possible to continue to slow the spread and save lives."  

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As has been the case throughout the pandemic, 92% of the people who died from the virus had underlying health conditions, and the virus continued to have a slightly disproportionate impact on communities of color.  

For the 1,101 deaths for which data was available, 38% were Latinx,29% white, 19% Asian, 13% black, and 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  

The confirmed cases include 709 in Long Beach and 411 in Pasadena, which has their own health departments.  

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Los Angeles County continues to represent about half of the cases and deaths across the state. Officials in Sacramento reported Saturday that the state had 52, 197 cases, and 2,171 deaths.  

Citing new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ferrer said earlier that people who test positive for the virus or are believed to be positive must now isolate themselves for 10 days, plus an additional 72 hours after symptoms dissipate. The previous guidance called for seven days of isolation, plus 72 symptom-free hours.  

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"There's new evidence that suggests that the virus may shed for a longer period of time, which means that a person may be able to infect other people for a longer period of time than was initially thought," she said.   "If you now test positive for COVID-19 or you've been told by your provider that you're likely to be positive for the virus, you need to immediately self-isolate," Ferrer said. "And this means staying home and staying away from all other people and pets as much as possible all of the time.

Please do not prepare or serve meals for your family, and please don't share utensils, cups, or food with others. If you're a caregiver it would be important for you to find someone else in your family to perform daily activities that have you in close contact with others."  

Ferrer said there have now been 182 confirmed coronavirus cases among the county's homeless population, the majority of them occurring among people who were housed at the Union Rescue Mission on downtown L.A.'s Skid Row, where an outbreak was confirmed in mid-April.  

She also said there have been 106 known instances of pregnant women who tested positive. According to Ferrer, 26 of those women have completed their pregnancies and successfully gave birth.  

She said the county is investigating confirmed or suspected cases at 316 institutional settings, including nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, shelters, jails, and prisons.  

There have been a total of 5,658 cases in such institutional settings, and 564 residents have died, representing 48% of all COVID-19 deaths in the county.

The majority of people who have died in institutional settings lived in skilled nursing facilities, Ferrer said.   She said there have been 526 cases in federal prisons, the vast majority at the Terminal Island prison in San Pedro, where five inmates have died.