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‘An Unfortunate Milestone’: Coronavirus Deaths In LA County Reach 1,000

A sign at the entrance to a COVID-19 test site at Carbon Health in Echo Park. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer did addressed the local media via teleconference today to report 59 more deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 1,000 — “an unfortunate milestone,” she said.

Ferrer also reported that the county has seen 597 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 20,976 cases countywide.

Here's the latest racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on the information we have for 918 of the people who've died. According to health officials, the victims are:

  • 14% African American [9% of county residents]
  • 18% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
  • 37% Latino or Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 29% White [26.1% of county residents]
  • 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 1% identified as belonging to a different race or ethnicity

The death toll at the county’s institutional settings, particularly nursing homes, continues to climb. Ferrer reported that 462 residents at those facilities have died. That number represents 46% of all deaths countywide.

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The coronavirus crisis "has amplified the cracks in our society," Ferrer said, "including the care and protection of people who are older and medically fragile." She added:

"While managers and staff at all our skilled nursing facilities are doing their very best under difficult circumstances to care for their residents, we are still seeing many cases and deaths among residents and staff in these facilities. We need to accelerate our ability to quickly identify and isolate asymptomatic, as well as symptomatic, residents and staff, and quarantine those who are close contacts."

Here are some other key figures being reported today:
  • Of the 59 new deaths reported: 36 patients were over 65; 16 were between 41 and 65; one person was between 18 and 40
  • More than 133,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in L.A. County and had the results reported to county health officials. Of those tests, 14% have been positive.
  • In total 4,507 people who've tested positive for coronavirus in L.A. County have "at some point" been hospitalized, Ferrer said, which represents 21% of all positive cases.
Ferrer also reiterated that the current May 15 expiration of the stay-at-home order has not changed, but explained that an amended order could be issued next. She said:
"...we're going to stay where we are right now and then as we get closer in May, we'll be making decisions about what pieces of the current order might need to be extended and where are there places where we'd be able to relax... there will be a [new] health officer order moving forward... giving us directives on how to make sure we safely open."

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