LOS ANGELES - Public Health officials on Monday announced 25 new cases of novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County, bringing the county's total up to 94.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of the county Department of Public Health, said the agency is continuing to see an increase in "community transmission" of the illness -- meaning people are contracting the virus without any known source of exposure.
“We are seeing a significant increase in cases and evidence of community spread as more testing occurs,” Ferrer said. “We are implementing more social distancing requirements and we expect everyone to do their part."
In order to help prevent the spread of the virus, county officials ordered the closure of all bars, restaurants (except takeout/delivery), entertainment venues, gyms and other establishments in the county. The mandate applies to all cities within the county, as well as unincorporated areas. County officials did not specify how long the closures would be in place.
"If something it not an essential activity, I urge you not to do it," Ferrer added. "In the absence of a vaccine, social distancing is the best tool that we have.''
Of those 25 cases, five cases were contracted through a source of unknown origin. In one of the new cases, the patient was exposed during recent travel to a location with known exposure to the virus and another case was an individual who had close contact with an individual confirmed to have coronavirus. One patient was announced Monday morning by health officials in Pasadena. The seventeen remaining cases are still under investigation by LA County Department of Public Health.
Two individuals out of the 25 are new cases are currently hospitalized, according to Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
There have been 41 new confirmed cases in the past 48 hours, health officials said.
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Locations of confirmed cases:
• Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas) -- 87
• Long Beach -- 5
• Pasadena -- 2
• Alhambra -- 2
• Arcadia -- 1
• Beverly Hills -- 1
• Boyle Heights -- 5
• Carson -- 1
• Culver City -- 2
• Diamond Bar -- 2
• Encino-- 3
• Gardena-- 1
• Glendale -- 2
• Glendora-- 1
• Granada Hills -- 3
• Inglewood -- 2
• Koreatown -- 1
• La Mirada -- 2
• Lancaster -- 1
• Manhattan Beach -- 3
• Melrose-- 2
• Northridge-- 1
• San Dimas -- 1
• San Pedro -- 1
• Santa Clarita and Stevenson Ranch -- 3
• Santa Monica -- 1
• Sherman Oaks -- 2
• Silverlake-- 1
• South Pasadena -- 1
• Tarzana -- 5
• Torrance -- 2
• Venice -- 1
• West Adams -- 1
• West Hills -- 3
• West Hollywood -- 5
• West Vernon -- 1
• Westchester-- 1
• Los Angeles City (Neighborhood <25,000) -- 11
• Still Investigating -- 11
In an effort to "flatten the curve" of new cases through social distancing, the county ordered the closure of all bars, fitness centers and entertainment centers, effective immediately. Restaurants will also no longer be able to offer sit-down service, but will be restricted to takeout or delivery service.
Public Health has issued the following guidance to residents:
• 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.
CNS contributed to this report.