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COVID-19 Cases Near 6,000 In LA County; More Mobile Testing Sites To Open This Week

Updated
Published
A man rides his scooter past a sculpture of a quarantined earth in Venice during the coronavirus pandemic on April 4, 2020. Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health today confirmed 663 new cases of the coronavirus and 15 new deaths.

Eleven of those victims had underlying health conditions and 10 were over 65, officials said.

Nearly 1,375 cases have been reported in the past 48 hours, bringing the countywide total to 5,940. There are now 132 total deaths, L.A. County Public Health said in news release sent Sunday afternoon.

Of the patients with positive tests, 1,257 have been hospitalized, representing 21% of all cases.

Officials cautioned that:

"Emerging evidence suggests that there may be a significant number of people infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic and capable of spreading the virus to others."

To date, about 31,000 people have been tested for coronavirus and 14% have tested positive. Another big jump in testing capabilities are expected next week.

L.A. County officials have warned that with more tests we will have higher numbers of positive cases. At the start of the pandemic here, fewer than 50 people a day were being tested. Now it's closer to 7,000 with a goal of getting to 10,000 daily tests next week.

Officials also announced they will open more drive-up mobile testing sites this coming week, including new locations at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, and in East Los Angeles and Santa Clarita.

County officials added that it was "in discussions with AltaMed to bring several urgent care facilities into the County’s testing network in underserved areas."

More information and a full list of drive-up mobile testing locations is available here.


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Map: US Coronavirus Cases Top 337,000; Worldwide Totals Top 1.2 Million

Updated
Published

Note on the data you see when clicking on a bubble: Confirmed cases include presumptive positive cases | Recovered cases outside China are estimates based on local media reports, and may be substantially lower than the true number | Active cases = total confirmed - total recovered - total deaths.


Editor's note: For the most recent updates, check our latest tracker post for Monday, April 6.

Jump to: CALIFORNIA | WORLDWIDE | SOCAL COUNTIES | ANALYSIS

WHERE WE STAND

The U.S. is now reporting more than 337,000 of the more than 1.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

Italy, Spain, Germany, and now France are all reporting more confirmed COVID-19 cases than China, where the outbreak began late last year, but whose reported numbers have since greatly slowed.

On Sunday afternoon, L.A. County reported 663 new cases and 15 new deaths. There are now more than 5,940 total cases to date in L.A. County.

WORLDWIDE

CASES

DEATHS

RECOVERED

LAST UPDATE

1,272,115 69,374 260,012 4/5 4:13 PM

Here are the total confirmed cases for the 10 countries currently facing the worst outbreaks as of the date and time listed: The U.S. is among a number of countries experiencing large-scale outbreaks. The map at the top of this post shows cumulative confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries and is updated in near real-time throughout the day. Zoom out to see more of the world.

Country Confirmed Cases Deaths Recovered Last Update
United States 337,072 9,619 17,448 4/5 4:06 PM
Spain 131,646 12,641 38,080 4/5 4:06 PM
Italy 128,948 15,887 21,815 4/5 4:06 PM
Germany 100,123 1,584 28,700 4/5 4:06 PM
France 93,773 8,093 16,349 4/5 4:06 PM
China 82,602 3,333 77,207 4/5 2:23 AM
Iran 58,226 3,603 19,736 4/5 4:06 PM
United Kingdom 48,436 4,943 229 4/5 4:06 PM
Turkey 27,069 574 1,042 4/5 4:06 PM
Switzerland 21,100 715 6,415 4/5 4:06 PM

These numbers are changing rapidly and experts have warned that confirmed cases are far under the actual total of infected individuals. For more detail check the full tracker, which includes death tolls and projections of cases on the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering site. Engineers there are collecting data from:

IN CALIFORNIA

Statewide, our friends on the L.A. Times data desk are tracking cases in California by surveying "numbers released by the dozens of local health agencies across the state." As of about 8:45 p.m. Sunday, the newspaper is reporting California has:

  • 15,180 confirmed cases
  • 348 deaths

[Note: If you hit a paywall on the full tracker, please consider subscribing. They have a $1 for eight weeks special. We don't have a paywall but we do count on member support to run our newsroom.]

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AT A GLANCE

In a news release sent Sunday afternoon, L.A. County Public Health officials cautioned that:

"Emerging evidence suggests that there may be a significant number of people infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic and capable of spreading the virus to others."

So far, L.A. County is reporting 132 deaths. As of Sunday, 1,257 people have been hospitalized.

NOTE: We are expecting another big jump in testing capabilities this week. L.A. County officials have warned that with more tests we will have higher numbers of positive cases. At the start of the pandemic here, fewer than 50 people a day were being tested. Now it's closer to 7,000 with a goal of getting to 10,000 daily tests next week.

Current as of most recent updates Sunday

LA COUNTY

  • 5,955 cases
  • 132 deaths

* [Includes numbers released by Pasadena and Long Beach. See more from L.A. County]

ORANGE COUNTY

  • 834 cases
  • 14 deaths

* More from Orange County

RIVERSIDE COUNTY

  • 799 cases
  • 19 deaths

* More from Riverside County

VENTURA COUNTY

  • 221 cases
  • 6 deaths

* More from Ventura County

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

  • 373 cases
  • 13 deaths

* More from San Bernardino County

FLATTEN THE CURVE

As new cases continue to be confirmed, Californians are continuing to be under "safer at home" and "social distancing" orders. State and county officials have ordered the vast majority of Californians to strictly limit interactions with other people, wash hands frequently, and stay 6 feet away from others.

Remember, the goal of social distancing is to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19's spread.

HOW CALIFORNIA COMPARES

The more we can slow the rate of infection, the less overwhelmed the hospital system will be.

Here's a look at how L.A. County fares in nine scenarios over six, nine, and 12 months from our friends at ProPublica:

(Courtesy of ProPublica)

And here's the impact on California hospitals:

(Courtesy of ProPublica)

SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19

We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.


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Trump Again Speaks In Favor Of Anti-Malaria Drug Not Proven Effective For Treating Coronavirus

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Published

Note: President Trump usually opens these news conferences with his own remarks. His comments in a number of past briefings have later been contradicted by information provided by other officials. He has also repeatedly used stigmatizing language to describe COVID-19. Following the president's remarks, health experts and other adminstration leaders provide additional updates.

President Trump doubled down Sunday on the suggestion that people should consider taking an anti-malaria drug that has not been proven to be an effective treatment for coronavirus.

In a last-minute scheduled news conference, Trump repeated a line he has said many times before — "what do you have to lose?" — when detailing that the federal government has stockpiled 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine for use to treat the coronavirus. He also suggested doctors take the drug before treating coronavirus patients.

"I've seen things that I like," Trump said. "What do I know? I'm not a doctor. I'm not a doctor, but I have common sense."

The aspirational comments, along with a list of medical supplies that Trump said the federal government will be delivering to some of the hardest hit areas, came after some of his public health experts Sunday morning warned that the impending onslaught of coronavirus deaths would likely rival some of America's most trying times in modern history.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on on Fox News Sunday the country should be prepared for widespread tragedy comparable to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

"This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly," Adams said on Fox News Sunday. "This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localized. It's going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that."

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said "this is going to be a bad week," speaking on CBS' Face the Nation, saying the next week is "going to be shocking to some, but that's what is going to happen before it turns around."

Trump took a more uplifting approach during Sunday's press briefing, saying the country is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

"We see a light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "Things are happening."

He said more than 3,000 military officials have been deployed and that the federal government has delivered 500 ventilators to New Jersey, 200 to Louisiana, 300 to Michigan and 600 to Illinois.

He also said 1.67 million COVID tests have been completed nationwide.

Earlier in the day, Fauci suggested during the interview that there was no evidence that hydroxychloroquine had any benefit against coronavirus.

"In terms of science, I don't think we can definitively say it works," he said.

Asked about why he is giving medical advice while acknowledging he's not a doctor, Trump said there is simply not enough time to go through the normal testing process.

"People are dying," he said. He added that there is not enough time to test a drug for over a year.

Confirmed coronavirus infections in America have passed 330,000 and killed in excess of 9,400 people, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University show.

The White House's coronavirus task force has said it expects at least 100,000 U.S. deaths from the virus in the coming weeks and months.

New York has been the epicenter of the country's epidemic, but prediction models show Detroit and New Orleans should also be bracing for an especially significant crush of new cases soon.

Most of the country is on lockdown and the economy has nearly skidded to a stop, prompting a record 10 million people to file for unemployment over two weeks.

Scores of major events are being postponed or cancelled. And Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden suggested his party's presidential nominating convention, which had already been delayed a month over coronavirus fears, could be forced to happen virtually.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

READ MORE:

Setting The Record Straight: 5 Fact Checks Of Trump And Coronavirus This Week

Coronavirus Is Keeping Foster Children Apart From Their Birth Parents

Updated
Published
A judge has suspended visitations between children in L.A.'s foster care system and their parents because of the pandemic. Maya Sugarman/LAist

FaceTime, Skype, Zoom — that’s how children in L.A. County’s foster care system talk to their biological parents now that visitations have been suspended during the pandemic.

In the case of one mom who lives at a residential facility, she can’t get online to see her 5-year-old daughter.

The pair went from having three in-person visits weekly to talking on the phone, said Connie Chung Joe, executive director of Korean American Family Services, which runs a foster care program for Asian American children in L.A.

It’s taking an emotional toll.

“Parents were really frustrated,” Joe said. “They really missed physically seeing their children face-to-face. They missed holding them and touching them.”

SEPARATION COULD BE EXTENDED

It’s been more than two weeks since the county court overseeing child neglect and abuse cases suspended in-person visitations to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The court order, issued by Judge Victor Greenberg of Los Angeles Superior Court, is set to expire April 16. But Joe expects an extension and maybe weeks more of separations.

“You have to balance foster youth’s desire for face-to-face contact with individuals that are important in their lives, to the risks involved in the virus and exposure to the virus,” said Bruce Saltzer, executive director of the Association of Community Human Services Agencies, which represents foster care agencies.

Joe, from Korean American Family Services, said on the one hand she is relieved that her agency’s social workers don’t have to supervise visitations and potentially put themselves in harm’s way.

But Joe said it was hard to know that foster children are unable to seek comfort from being with their birth parents at a time when they are also experiencing stress from being quarantined and away from friends.

“So that’s really heartbreaking to think that kids are losing that opportunity to see their parents,” Joe said. “And that it could be months before they see their parents again.”

For the youngest cohort of foster children — ages 0 to 5 — spending time with their birth parents is critical to establishing a bond, Joe said. For that reason, the California Department of Social Services is recommending face-to-face meetings between parents and children under 2 when possible.

The foster care system operates on the principle that children should be reunited with their biological parents if they can satisfy the courts that they are meeting certain conditions like, for example, completing drug treatment or taking parenting education classes.

But Joe said the pandemic is making it hard for some parents to fulfill their court requirements, which could stretch out separations from their children even longer.

The list of stressors caused by the health crisis goes on. Saltzer, from the Association of Community Human Services Agencies, said the foster care system is bracing for when large numbers of workers at residential facilities start to call out sick.

“There's going to be a challenge to maintain the level of staffing that will be required for supervision,” Saltzer said.

Saltzer said the county potentially could send in some people to even out the staff-to-children ratios. Meaning more new faces for the residents -- and yet another change to contend with.

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Governor Approves Child Care Aid For Essential Workers

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A boy plays in a childcare center. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Help is coming for essential workers who are dealing with child care issues.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order that allows the departments of Education and Social Services to approve child care and after-school programs for children of health care professionals, emergency responders, law enforcement and grocery workers.

State-funded child care is normally reserved for low-income families. The governor's order makes the money available for those deemed to be essential workers while the state fights the spread of the novel coronavirus with stay-at-home and closure orders for everyone else.

The order also allows care providers to take advantage of new provisions of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to make sure kids get nutritious meals at little or no cost.

The agencies have until April 7 to get the programs going.

SOURCE:


SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19

We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.


LAPD Holds Virtual School Assembly

Updated
Published
LAPD and LA School Police co-hosted a virtual school assembly on Apr. 3, 2020 while campuses were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Screenshot from LAPD's Facebook stream)

Campuses may be closed the rest of the school year, but school assemblies are still happening — virtually.

The Los Angeles Police and L.A. School Police hosted a Facebook stream Friday for kids. Police Chief Michel Moore introduced his colleagues and sought to offer the students reassurance during a scary time.

The speakers encouraged students to follow the LAPD's tips for keeping safe at home, including staying 6 feet from others when walking outside, washing your hands while singing the ABC song, and staying calm.

Here's School Police Sgt. Rudy Perez:

"I know at home sometimes it can be a little frustrating right now because we're all so close to each other, but we have to maintain calm. The police officers are out in the streets. The police officers are protecting our schools at this moment. We can't wait for you to come back to school, because we're going to be here to make sure you're OK."

Two labrador retrievers with the LAPD canine unit, Duchess and Champ, also demonstrated a training exercise. You can watch the entire assembly below:

Riverside County To Enforce New Orders On Masks, Gatherings

Updated
Published
Riverside County law enforcement will stop and talk to people if they see violations of new county orders on COVID-19. (Screenshot from Riverside County Sheriff’s Department YouTube channel)

Riverside County this weekend took one of the state’s strictest measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 by banning all gatherings with non-household members and ordering all residents to wear face coverings outside.

Should people violate these new orders, law enforcement will step in -- though not in a punitive manner, said Jose Arballo, spokesman for the county’s public health department.

“If a patrol officer sees a gathering while they're on patrol, they might stop and talk to them and hopefully just by explaining what the order is, they would go ahead and break up and go about their business,” Arballo said.

There is no plan to increase the number of patrols, he said.

With Easter Sunday coming up, the county is leaning on religious leaders to cancel gatherings.

“It doesn't have to come down to a police officer driving by and seeing a large gathering there,” Arballo said.

'YOU MUST'

The county is fighting a caseload that Arballo said has been rising faster than projected: 665 cases and 18 deaths as of Sunday morning. The deaths include two sheriff’s deputies who died from COVID-19-related complications last week.

In a statement, the county’s public health officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, explained why he issued the new orders:

“While more and more Riverside County residents are getting COVID-19, not everybody’s getting the message. It started with staying home, social distance and covering your face. But now we change from saying that you 'should' to saying that you 'must.'”

Arballo said a segment of the population remains resistant to taking precautions. While picking up coffee Sunday morning, Arballo saw two other customers -- men who looked to be in their late 20s -- and urged them to wear face coverings.

“They were really not interested in hearing what I had to say,” Arballo said. “So those are the people that we're trying to reach.”

ON ALERT SINCE JANUARY

Riverside County was among the first jurisdictions in the state to advise its residents to wear masks when it made a recommendation last Tuesday. County officials were followed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles the next day.

Arballo said county officials have been battling the spread of the virus since late January when nearly 200 Americans flown in from China were quarantined at the March Air Reserve Base.

“I will tell you from Jan. 28 when we found out the plane was on the way here, we've been planning for this,” Arballo said.

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A Scientist Explains Why You Should Cover Your Face

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(Courtesy of NPR)

Why exactly should we wear masks? Is it mainly to prevent us from infecting others? Or is it mainly to prevent us from getting infected?

We asked University of San Francisco data scientist Jeremy Howard (whose Twitter handle currently reads Jeremy #MasksForAll Howard) about what masks — homemade or otherwise — do to protect ourselves and others from disease.

Here's what he told me:

"It's mainly to help others — you're doing the right thing by your community.

Think about it this way: We know that the spread is from the little micro droplets of saliva when you're talking. If you have something over your face, obviously they're gonna hit the mask and not the person you're talking to. If it touches their eyes or their nose or their mouth, they're likely to get sick.

And we see that for things like this Seattle choir rehearsal, where 45 out of the 50 people got sick. Because, of course, when you're singing those droplets are flying around. On the other hand, does it protect you? Yes, it does quite a bit. But it is possible that this very breathing-in process could cause particles to kind of sneak in behind the mask. So you should definitely wear them to protect yourself, but mainly to protect your community.

Because if you're not doing that, you're placing the people around you at risk by failing to wear a mask."

I don't think that when I'm speaking normally, like I'm speaking to you right now, that I spit or let out droplets.

"Yeah, we would all like to think that because it sounds kind of gross. But, I'm afraid to say, you and I talking right now are being kind of gross. When you actually study under a laser system what's coming out of our mouths, there's little droplets. In fact, sometimes you'll see on your laptop computer screen little dried-up circles when you clean it. That's the droplets that are coming out of your mouth.

Everybody does it in every language. It's been tested in scientific situations — low volumes, high volumes, Russian, Czech, English, Chinese. We are all spitting out little droplets of saliva all the time. And they're landing on our friends' and families' faces."

Howard also pointed out something notable he's seen while studying the data on COVID-19 from around the world. Even though Japan doesn't have good testing in place and is not practicing social distancing, the nation of 127 million people has just 77 deaths as of Sunday.

Why? Howard says it's because Japan is wearing masks. Compared to the steep death toll in New York, he calls it "a stark, stark difference."

This interview aired on our newsroom's local news show Take Two, which A Martínez hosts. Listen to KPCC by tuning your dial to 89.3 in the L.A.-area, asking your smart speaker to "play KPCC" or streaming here.

MORE ON HOMEMADE MASKS

Morning Briefing: Local Calm, Federal Confusion

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Published

It's a quiet weekend locally, as much of L.A. adjusts to new recommendations to wear homemade face masks when going out. On the federal front, though, President Donald Trump made remarks that surprised some experts during his daily briefing — including suggesting that he "might take" hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that hasn’t been approved by the FDA for the virus.


THE PAST 24 HOURS:

L.A., California, The World: The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Saturday confirmed 711 new cases of the coronavirus and 28 new deaths, which did not include the first two reported in Pasadena. That brings county totals to 5,325 cases and 119 deaths. The U.S. is reporting 290,000 cases, and the worldwide count has surpassed 1.1 million.

Community: The YMCA will soon open nine of their locations for people experiencing homelessness to use for showers and restrooms.

Sports: Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant is among nine new members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Gov. Gaving Newsom said he doesn’t anticipate the NFL season starting on time this fall (note: this question came up because Trump has been actively talking to the heads of all major sports about when they can go back to work.)

Federal Updates: The federal government unveiled the first detailed national system for tracking the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. During a White House press briefing, President Donald Trump said that he “might take” hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that hasn’t been approved by the FDA for the virus.

Fact check: Another week of White House news briefings has come and gone. Here's a reality check on the president's statements.


YOUR (MUCH-NEEDED) MOMENT OF ZEN:

A tree —decorated with Chinese lanterns — blooms tree is at the closed Thien Hau Temple in the L.A's Chinatown neighborhood.

(Damian Dovarganes/AP)

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