Coronavirus In L.A. County: Death Count Slows, But Toll Is Likely Underreported – Updated

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UPDATED, 1:15 PM: Los Angeles County saw 68 more coronavirus-related deaths during the past 24 hours, local health officials said Thursday. That’s two more deaths than the 66 reported on Tuesday, but it represents a smaller increase than that of the day before. The new count moves the region’s total death toll to 797.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the County Department of Public Health, said there were 1,081 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 17,508. She stressed that these numbers were an undercount, since the county is still awaiting test results from several labs.

PREVIOUSLY, April 22: Los Angeles County saw 66 more coronavirus-related deaths during the past 24 hours, local health officials said today. That’s 20 deaths more than the 46 reported on Tuesday and moves the region’s total death toll to 729.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the County Department of Public Health, said there were 1,318 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 16,435.

Also on Wednesday, officials in Santa Clara in Northern California confirmed 3 early deaths are now attributable to COVID-19, one on February 6. That is the earliest known death in the U.S. linked to COVID-19. A death on Feb. 26 in Seattle had previously been the earliest known fatality.

There are over a dozen more suspicious deaths being investigated by Santa Clara officials, none of them before February 6.

On Monday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health added 1,491 new coronavirus cases.

The jump is the result of large backlog of results from one test lab.

Of the 1,491 new cases, 1,198 are from the lab backlog. That means the results from the daily reporting process were 293 new cases from Sunday to Monday. Thus, L.A. County has total of 13,816 coronavirus cases, including numbers from Pasadena and Long Beach, which have their own city health departments.

L.A. County confirmed 17 new deaths on Monday, 13 of whom were over the age of 65. Eleven of those people over 65 had underlying health conditions. That brings the total deaths to 617. Eighty-nine percent of those people who died had underlying health conditions.

Early results of a new study conducted by USC and the L.A. Department of Public Health suggest that infections are far more widespread than previously thought. The study was the product of antibody testing for COVID-19, which included people who were not suspected to have the virus.

“We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,” said lead investigator Neeraj Sood, a USC professor of public policy at USC Price School for Public Policy and senior fellow at USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

The researchers estimate that approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population has the antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has the antibody to the virus.

That translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in L.A. County who have had the infection — and thus developed antibodies. The study estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time the study took place in early April.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 24 new deaths and 334 new cases of coronavirus. This adds to Saturday’s numbers and brings the tally to 978 new cases in the past 48 hours. In total, there have been 12,341 positive cases of COVID-19 in L.A. county and 600 deaths.

In the deadliest day yet since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Los Angeles County officials on Saturday reported 81 new deaths, and 642 additional cases. That brings the total to 576 deaths and 12,021 cases.

“Today marks a very sad milestone for our county, we are reporting the highest number of COVID-19 deaths for any one day since the beginning of the pandemic, and our deepest condolences go out to each and every person grieving the loss of their loved ones,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health, said in a statement.

Ferrer added that she’s particularly concerned about the impact the pandemic is having on nursing homes.

“In this last week we have doubled the number of deaths that occurred among L.A. County residents,” she said. “We are especially concerned about the overwhelming number of residents residing in our nursing homes who have passed away.”

Ferrer noted that she’s requested additional support from the state and federal governments to ensure that nursing homes are as safe as possible for residents and employees.

“This includes asking for supplementary staffing and PPE, increased ability to test residents and employees, and improvements in infection control capacity at nursing homes,” she explained.

Of the total 576 deaths, 89% had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. Information about race and ethnicity was available for 498 victims or about 93%. Of the deceased, 36% were Latinx residents, 29% were white, 17% were Asian, 16% were African American, and 3% identified as other races.

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/04/coronavirus-in-l-a-county-81-new-deaths-reported-highest-single-day-total-since-outbreak-began-1202911901/