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Over A Third Of LA County Coronavirus Deaths Are 'Primarily' Residents At Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Sites

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Los Angeles County officials are reporting 567 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 11,391 cases countywide.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 40 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 495, bringing the coronavirus mortality rate up to 4.3%, she said.

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More than a third of those deaths (36% as of today) have been "primarily residents who were residing in skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities," Ferrer said, adding that health officials remain "extraordinarily worried" about the outbreaks in institutional facilities, which include nursing homes, treatment centers and jails.

She explained the challenge facing nursing homes this way:

"... we have many more skilled nursing facilities that have seen a significant number of cases within those facilities, and the people who are residents in those facilities are... often already in fragile medical condition, and a disease like COVID-19 both spreads more easily in a congregate living situation, and also can have devastating impacts on people with underlying health conditions..."

Ferrer also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 425 of the victims. According to the latest available information:
  • 16% African American [9% of county residents]
  • 18% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
  • 34% Latino or Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 29% White [26.1% of county residents]
  • 3% identified as belonging to a different race or ethnicity

Supervisor Kathryn Barger also announced the county has launched a partnership with Airbnb "to provide free housing to up to 1,000 frontline workers fighting the spread of COVID-19." More information on that program can be found here.

Here are some other key figures being reported today:

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  • More than 74,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 and had the results reported to county health officials. Of those tests, 14% have been positive.
  • There are currently 1,624 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those individuals, 33% are in the ICU, with 20% on ventilators.
  • In total 3,014 people who've tested positive for coronavirus in L.A. County have "at some point" been hospitalized, Ferrer said, which represents 26% of all positive cases.
  • Ferrer reported the total number of positive cases among health care workers on the frontlines has risen to 1,441. Of the people infected, 38% are the nurses and 6% are doctors.
  • The county health department is currently investigating 228 institutional facilities where there's at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. The county reports that 1,215 residents at those facilities and 968 staff members have tested positive, for a total of 2,183 cases confirmed cases. Ferrer said 177 residents at those facilities have died.
  • There are now 77 confirmed cases in county jail facilities. Seventeen inmates and 60 staff members have tested positive, though two of those inmates have reportedly recovered, Ferrer noted.
  • There are 67 confirmed cases in state and federal prisons56 inmates and 11 staff.
  • Ferrer said there has been "a small increase" in the number of confirmed cases among individuals experiencing homelessness, though she did not provide the exact number (the number reported Thursday was 33). "The majority of the people who are confirmed as positive among people experiencing homelessness were unsheltered," Ferrer noted, "but there were 10 people who were sheltered, and they're now appropriately isolated and their close contacts are quarantined."

Ferrer noted that stay-at-home orders remain in place and encouraged residents to keep following the directives, including wearing face coverings for essential trips.
"COVID-19 — as you note from all the numbers I report — has spread across our entire community," she said. "We need to continue to do all we can do to slow the spread and prevent as many infections as possible while we plan for our recovery."

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