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Ferrer Urges LA County Residents To Stay Safe Amid 'Horrifying Surge' Of COVID-19 Cases

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Los Angeles County's coronavirus task force is delivering an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch live above and check for updates below.

Los Angeles County officials reported 5,987 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 414,185 cases to date countywide. That follows a record-high 7,593 new cases announced yesterday.

In total, 16,786 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 3,746 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

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County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 40 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 7,740.

Ferrer used North Dakota and Iowa as examples of states where minimal safety measures are having devastating results. Those states have case rates of 10,000 cases and 7,000 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively. California's case rate is about 3,000 per 100,000 residents, Ferrer said, adding that "safety measures work in slowing the spread."

But she didn't downplay the "terrifying increases" happening locally, and again implored county residents to avoid group gatherings, wear face coverings and honor the new stay-at-home orders.

"We do have a choice to make, each one of us. Do we want to be part of the solution to this horrifying surge? Or do we want to be the problem? Because where you fall in this effort now has a life or death consequence — possibly for people you know and love, but certainly for people across the county, who are loved by others."


Ferrer shared more of the "continued alarming numbers" health officials are tracking as cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge.
  • In the first three weeks of November, the average daily cases jumped from 1,223 to 3,976. But over the past week and a half, Ferrer said that average skyrocketed to over 5,300 cases per day.
  • The test positivity rate is now at 12%, "more than a doubling of where we were a couple of weeks ago," Ferrer said.
  • The average daily number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 increased 94% in the past two weeks.
  • From Nov. 9-28, average daily deaths increased 92%. That death rate climbed again this week to more than 30 per day on average, Ferrer said.
  • Despite efforts over the summer to address the disporportionate case rates among people of color in L.A. County, those race and ethnicity gaps have again widened, Ferrer said.
  • The seven-day cumulative rate among Latina/Latino residents is 270 new cases per hundred thousand people. "This is over twice the rate of white residents," Ferrer said.
  • Ferrer noted that the death rate "among people in communities with high rates of poverty is around three times that of people living in areas where there are more resources."
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(Courtesy L.A. County)
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