UPDATED, 1:30 PM: Twenty-five more people died of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County during the past 24 hours, local health officials said Thursday. That’s the second-most of any single day during the crisis — though four fewer than Wednesday — and brings the death toll in the region to 223.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health director, also said during her daily update that the county reported 425 new cases of coronavirus, far fewer than the 620 cited on Wednesday. The region’s total number of confirmed cases now stands at 7,955.
UPDATED, April 8: Twenty-nine more people died of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County during the past 24 hours, local health officials said Wednesday. That’s the most of any singe day during the crisis and brings the death toll in the region to 198.
Coronavirus: New York & U.S. Post Worst Single-Day Death Tolls
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health director, also said during her daily update that the county reported 620 new cases of coronavirus; the region’s total number of confirmed cases now stands at 7,530.
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Also today, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas announced a third coronavirus testing site in L.A. County. It opened today at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in South Los Angeles. Read details here.
UPDATED, April 7: Twenty-two more people died of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County during the past 24 hours, local health officials said Tuesday. That brings the death toll in the region to 169.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health director, said during her daily update that the mortality rate for people with the disease in L.A. County “continues to creep up slightly,” now standing at 2.4%. Of the 22 people who died since Monday, six were younger than 65, she said.
Ferrer also said 550 new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in the county since Monday, bringing the total number of local cases to 6,910.
For the first time, Ferrer today gave a preliminary breakdown of local COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity. Of the 93 deaths for which such information is available, Ferrer said 28% of those who have died were Latinx, 27% were white, 19% were Asian, 17% were African-American and 9% identified as another ethnicity.
She noted, however, that officials do not have race or ethnicity information on 43% of L.A. County residents who have died from the virus.
“When we look at this information by the total population of each group, African-American have a slightly higher rate death than other races and ethnicities,” Ferrer said, “and we will be watching this closely as we gather more information about the remaining 43% of people who have passed away.”
Ferrer encouraged providers, facilities and labs to collect and report race and ethnicity data so we can better understand the burden of disease across different populations.”
She added, without elaborating, that much less testing is happening in impoverished communities versus those in more affluent areas.
Also today, L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Pro Tem Supervisor Hilda Solis said that the county’s second drive-up testing site will go live Wednesday at East Los Angeles College.
Solis also stressed the local need for more health care workers. “As we surge our hospital capacity, we need to also increase our staffing capacity,” she said. “This means we need more people power. We need more health care and medical professionals, including medical and nursing students, to sign up to work with the county. And given the diversity of Los Angeles, we need more people who can speak multiple languages and can deliver culturally competent, appropriate health care.”
She urged those who are interested to visit covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps.
UPDATED, April 6: As Los Angeles County enters what officials expect to be one of the worst weeks in terms of the spread of coronavirus, health officials report 15 more deaths Monday, raising the total to 147. Overall cases went up by 420, bringing the total to 6,360 in the county, including 213 in Long Beach and 58 in Pasadena.
During Monday’s daily briefing, Los Angeles County Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer stressed the need for people aged 65 or older and people with underlying health conditions to remain at home. “If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether, Ferrer said. “If you can arrange for pharmacies and medications and groceries to be delivered, this would be the week to put that in place.”
UPDATED, April 3: Los Angeles County health officials today reported 11 more COVID-19 deaths in the region and 521 cases since Thursday. That brings the county’s coronavirus death toll to 89 and number of confirmed cases to 4,566.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health director, said during her daily update that “as we are increasing capacity [for testing], we need to be really prepared for the fact that that is going to result in increased number of people who are testing positive. So if we assume that we’re getting to where we’re striving to be, — which is that we’re able to test 10,000 people a day, and about 10% of the people we test continue to be positive, you can see why we need to prepare ourselves for 1,000 new cases of people with COVID-19 every day. And we want to be prepared for that.”
UPDATED, April 2: For the second consecutive day, Los Angeles County saw a new high for number of deaths caused by the coronavirus. Local officials said Thursday that 13 residents died in the past 24 hours and said 534 new cases were reported.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health director, said during her daily update that 78 county residents now have died from the disease.
Local officials also reminded that drive-up testing sites for coronavirus and open in the city and county of Los Angeles.
UPDATED, April 1: Los Angeles County saw 11 more coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, more than any other single day during the outbreak. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health director. said during her daily update that 65 county residents now have died from the disease.
She added that there were 513 new cases of COVID-19 reported in L.A. County since Tuesday, bringing the total number to 3,618 — including more than 1,000 in the past 24 hours. Ferrer also said 345 coronavirus patients are in hospitals today, with three-quarters of those having no documented underlying health conditions. Of those hospitalized, 20% are in intensive care, including four patients who are younger than 35.
Ferrer also said that more than 21,000 L.A. County residents have been tested for the virus.
She also stressed the need for people to continue to practice social distancing and other CDC-recommended ways to mitigate the disease. “There’s increasing evidence … that there are people who are infected with COVID-19 that don’t have any symptoms,” Ferrer said. “And for some of these people, there’s also evidence they’re able to spread infection. They don’t feel sick, they don’t think they’re sick, they have no signs of symptoms of respiratory illness — when they’re tested, they end up being positive, and it ends up that they’ve also transmitted, even though they’re asymptomatic, to other people.”
PREVIOUSLY, March 31: Los Angeles County has seen its number of residents testing positive for coronavirus triple in less than a week, local health officials said today. They also reported 10 deaths and 548 new cases in the past 24 hours. That brings the county’s death toll to 54, with 3,011 new cases.
“These aren’t just numbers,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health director. “These are real people, and they’re being mourned by their family and friends.”
She noted that one of the people who died since Monday was a health care worker — the first in Los Angeles County to succumb to COVIC-19.
During her daily update that was streamed on Facebook, Ferrer noted that the Centers for Disease Control has released new guidance about coronavirus “close contact.” She said the CDC now says anyone who has tested positive or is presumed positive could have infected others up to 48 hours earlier.
Elsewhere in Los Angeles today, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said it has joined an international effort to test an experimental drug as a potential COVID-19 treatment. It expects to have its first clinical trial patient by week’s end. Sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the trial is for remdesivir, a drug developed by Northern California-based Gilead Sciences.
“We need randomized, controlled studies to verify that remdesivir is both safe and effective,” Dr. Victor Tapson of Cedars-Sinai said. “That is why this clinical trial is so important.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force also stressed the trial’s importance. In a release from the National Institutes of Health release today, he said: “We urgently need a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. Although remdesivir has been administered to some patients with COVID-19, we do not have solid data to indicate it can improve clinical outcomes. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial is the gold standard for determining if an experimental treatment can benefit patients.”
The drug has shown promise in animal testing, officials said.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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