LOS ANGELES - Health officials reported 456 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 additional deaths in Los Angeles County today, for a total of 8,873 cases and 265 deaths.
The numbers come as Angelenos prepare for an unusual Easter Sunday in which all county parks and nature areas will be closed to the public in an effort to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
"As people of different faiths come together this weekend, my thoughts and prayers are with all those who are experiencing loss, illness and distress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,'' said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health.
"I want to thank all our faith leaders who are tending to the spiritual needs of their members and exercising creative ways to ensure fellowship from a physical distance. And I want to express my
gratitude to all the people of LA County who are finding ways of observing their faith while staying safe at home.''
As of Saturday, 2,172 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (24% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness Ferrer said. She added that testing capacity continues to increase in the county, with results available for over 45,000 individuals and 14% of people
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The county's mortality rate from the illness -- the percentage of people with the disease who have died -- crept upward on Friday, reaching 2.9%. The county's mortality rate last week was 1.8%.
According to Ferrer, 28% of the people who have died from coronavirus in the county were residents of nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities.
The county is investigating cases at 159 "institutional settings,'' such as nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, shelters, jails and prisons that have had at least one case. Those institutions have had a total of 1,062 cases and 67 deaths, all among residents.
A total of 53 cases have been confirmed in the county's jails -- eight inmates and 45 staff members. There were also 23 cases in prisons, while two staff members at the county juvenile hall in Sylmar have also tested positive.