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'We Must All Proceed With Caution': LA County Health Officer Gives Coronavirus Update

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Los Angeles County's coronavirus task force delivered its daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read highlights below or watch the full video above.

Los Angeles County Public Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis presented new figures today, showing that COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths are down to levels not seen since early June.

The three-day average for hospitalizations grew to roughly 1,400 in June, then jumped to over 2,000 per day in July. As of August 21, that rate was averaging about 1,291 across three days, Davis said.

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(Courtesy Los Angeles County)

What does this mean for L.A. County residents? Dr. Davis explained:

"First, it means, thankfully, that the work we have all done as a community and the sacrifices we are making are working. We're preventing COVID-19 infections, including serious illness and deaths. Second, if we can maintain this lower transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools [and] more businesses reopening or someday moving their operations back indoors.

But, Davis warned, individuals and businesses need learn from the swell in cases, hospitalizations and deaths seen in June and July, which led local authorities to tap the brakes on the reopening process.

“As we continue our journey of recovery, we must all proceed with caution,” he said. "All of us must meet must own our roles in this recovery."

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(Courtesy Los Angeles County)
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BY THE NUMBERS

Los Angeles County officials reported 1,198 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 232,893 cases countywide. In total, 10,111 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 2,291 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

Dr. Davis reported 13 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. In total, officials have conformed that 5,558 people have died from COVID-19 countywide.

A few more key figures reported today:

  • So far, 92% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Davis said.
  • There are currently 1,219 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those individuals, 32% are in the ICU, with 18% on ventilators.
  • 2,205 residents in institutional settings have died. Those sites include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, shelters, treatment centers, supportive living, and correctional facilities. The vast majority of those victims — 90% — were living in nursing homes.
  • The county health department is currently investigating 875 residential congregate settings and non-residential settings where there’s at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. Davis said there are 31,096 confirmed cases in those facilities — 15,980 residents and 15,116 staff members.
  • Davis said 1,498 cases have been confirmed among homeless people in L.A. County

Davis also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 5,231of the victims. According to the latest available information:

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  • 50% Latino / Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 10% African American [9% of county residents]
  • 24% White [26.1% of county residents]
  • 15% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
  • Less than 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander [0.4% of county residents]
  • 1% identified as belonging to another race or ethnicity

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