Coronavirus deaths spike in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed 2,056 new cases of COVID-19 and reported 48 new deaths on Saturday. 

The spike in numbers is due in part to delays in lab reporting, public health officials said.  

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Thirty-six people who died were more than 65 years old, seven were between the ages of 41 and 65, and two were between 18 and 40. Thirty-seven of the fatalities had underlying health conditions, including 29 over the age of 65 years old, six between 41 and 65, and two between 18 and 40.

Two deaths were reported by Long Beach and one by Pasadena.  

To date, Public Health has identified 81,636 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 3,110 deaths. Ninety-three percent of people who died had underlying health conditions.

Of those, information about race and ethnicity is available for 2,892 people (99% of reported cases). Forty-two percent of deaths occurred among Latino residents, 29% among Whites, 17% among Asians, 11% among Blacks, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian-Pacific Islanders, and 1% identifying with other races.

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Upon further investigation, 29 cases and one death reported earlier were determined not to be county residents.   There are 1,406 people currently hospitalized, 29% of whom are in intensive care and 22% are on ventilators. Testing capacity continues to increase in the county, with testing results available for almost 916,000 individuals and 8% of people testing positive.  

"Many businesses and spaces reopened in the last month, and residents have found themselves in crowded situations," Director of Public Health Dr, Barbara Ferrer said. "Increased contact with others not in your household results in an increased risk of transmission of COVID-19.  

"This is why it is more important than ever to do what we know slows the spread of the virus: always wear a face covering and keep six feet or more of distance from others not in your household, wash hands frequently, self-isolate if you're positive for COVID-19, and quarantine if you're a close contact of someone who tested positive.

This is how we protect each other in the weeks ahead," Ferrer said.  

County officials say that if someone thinks they could be positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results, stay at home and act as if they are positive.

This means self-isolating for 10 days and 72 hours after symptoms and fever subside, or until they receive a negative result.  

People with underlying health conditions remain at much greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19 and are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, have groceries and medicine delivered, if possible, and to call their health care providers immediately even if they have mild symptoms.