LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County's Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, stopped by Good Day LA Thursday to provide the latest information on the coronavirus and its impact on Los Angeles County.
Ferrer, like many health professionals across the nation, expressed her concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases the county has seen in recent days. She said the increases were indicative of increased community spread of the virus, likely the result of more people being out of their homes as sectors of the economy reopened, such as restaurants and shopping malls.
“I think one of the reasons why we have an increase in the number of cases is we have a lot more people going back to work and a lot of people taking advantage of the fact that a lot of our sectors have reopened," said Ferrer.
Ferrer said that there are ways each individual person can help slow the spread of the virus, such as wearing a face-covering when you're around other people, avoiding crowds and washing your hands frequently to prevent passing along the infection or getting infected yourself.
“We all need to remember that we do get to play a role in preventing there from being spikes and infections… The truth of the matter is, this is actually a virus where we can do a lot to prevent the transmission of ourselves, as individual people and businesses can do a lot,” she said.
In LA County, 40% of the COVID-19 cases are individuals between the ages of 18 and 40.
“We’ve said all along, that people between the ages of 18 and 40, while they may themselves not be at the highest risk for serious disease, what they are at the highest risk for is being spreaders," explained Ferrer. "They can get infected, they may not know they are infected, and they’re definitely capable, and are in fact, spreading the infection — COVID-19 — to other people.”
Ferrer once again continued to stress that those with underlying health conditions, who are more susceptible to the virus, need to stay home as much as possible.
“This virus is still out there. I know we’re sick of the virus, we’d like to be done with the virus, but unfortunately, this virus is not done with us," she said.
California Governor Gavin Newsom shared some sobering numbers on Wednesday, stating that the number of new COVID-19 cases in the state rose by nearly 70% over the past few days. California's case numbers rose from 4,230 on Sunday to 7,149 by Tuesday, according to public health data.
LA County now leads the nation with more than 89,500 cases as of Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The county also has attributed COVID-19 to 3,207 deaths.
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