Los Angeles County Coronavirus Update: Region Reports Record Numbers Of New Cases, A “Higher Death Count Than We’ve Ever Seen,” Amid Backlog

coronavirus testing los angeles
Angelenos line up for coronavirus testing Mark Terrill/AP

Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday that the region recorded 4,825 new coronavirus infections. That’s a record number of new cases for a single day, beating the previous high of 4,592 on July 16.

However, Ferrer warned, “Over 2,000 of those cases are from a backlog in lab reporting.” Taking that into account, the director said, “we’re really about 1,000 cases higher than we were a month ago.”

Ferrer noted the same about the county’s new COVID-19 death report. She said number of those dead from the virus recorded in the past 24 hours was 91. The total number of deaths in L.A. County since the pandemic began is now 4,516.

Despite the mitigating factors, that’s still a “higher death count than we’ve ever seen,” said Ferrer. The previous record for daily coronavirus-related deaths was 73, set on July 14.

Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, said that “we are seeing now a very gradual downturn in the number of hospitalizations.” She said the county’s model indicated a continuation of that in the next four weeks. Ghaly attributed that decline to the paring back of reopening guidelines a few weeks ago.

Ghaly also said those actions “absolutely led to a decline in the effective transmission rate” to 0.92. Any number below 1 means that every person infected passes the virus on to less than one other person.

Ghaly said the model now predicts that only 15 percent of the county’s residents will be infected by December. If the retrenchment measures had not been taken, Ghaly said, the model shows that about half the county’s residents would have been infected over the same period.

After reporting unusually low numbers of daily COVID-related deaths over the past 72 hours, California also announced a record number of coronavirus fatalities on Wednesday. The new high was 197. That’s a 20 percent jump from the previous high of 159, recorded last Friday.

State and local officials have said the numbers were significantly lower recently because of delays caused by a new federal reporting process. As a result, Wednesday’s number could be a bit inflated because of those daily test results.

That comes just two days after the governor announced at his daily news conference that the state’s Central Valley was the new major area of concern.

Los Angeles County officials on Tuesday reported a total of 2,708 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 numbers, with the county’s Department of Public Health announcing 51 new deaths from the virus. The department said it anticipates receiving a backlog of cases in the following days due to reporting delays, with three hospitals not reporting data today.

With the new cases, the county has a total of 178,642 positive COVID-19 cases and 4,426 deaths to date. There are 2,051 current coronavirus-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with 18% of those patients on ventilators. Total hospitalizations are down from the all-time high of 2,232 patients hospitalized on July 20 but up from 2,017 on Monday.

And those numbers are incomplete due to delays in a new federally mandated reporting process that has local officials awaiting information from the state. “We think there’s still six hospitals [outstanding],” said Ferrer.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/07/los-angeles-county-coronavirus-record-number-new-cases-deaths-1202998800/