Los Angeles County public health officials today announced the region’s biggest single-day jump in confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Sixty-one new cases were reported, making it 101 in the past 48 hours and 292 overall, and two deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the county.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health for L.A. County, offered the unsettling numbers during her daily update, which was livestreamed on Facebook. You can watch the video below.
The news comes the day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a county-wide “safer at home” mandate that includes the shuttering of all non-essential businesses. California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order soon afterward.
“The median age for all of our reported cases is about 47,” Ferrer said today. “There are 138 people between the ages of 18 and 65 that were diagnosed as positive with COVID-19. I’m going to start trying to present this data so that everyone can understand that the risk is spread across everybody who lives here in L.A. County and that younger people, while they might have a better outcome if they’re healthy, are in fact one of the largest groups of people that we have tested who are positive for COVID-19.”
She added that about 2,400 people have been tested in the county as of March 18, and 10% of them are positive. Using some basic math and the World Health Organization’s stated 3% mortality rate for this new disease, L.A. County — with its roughly 10.16 million residents, at last count — could see more than 300,000 deaths from COVID-19.
“When we look across what’s happening in Europe now and in other cities in the United States, particularly New York City, we know that we need to be prepared for many, many new cases,” Ferrer said.
Here is the latest tweet from L.A. County health officials, followed by video of today’s update; Dr. Ferrer’s comments begin at about the 16:40 mark: