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Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Near 160K In LA County; Call Center Launched For Contact Tracing

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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 officials reported 3,160 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 159,045 cases countywide. In total, 6,445 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 1,700 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported nine new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 4,104 people.

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So far, 92% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.

Ferrer also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 3,820 of the victims. According to the latest available information:

  • 47% Latino/Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 11% African American [9% of county residents]
  • 26% 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

Ferrer also announced the launch of a new call center to help contact tracing efforts. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 can call 1-833-540-0473 to be connected with a public health specialist who can also interview them and connect them with resources. Ferrer said it would be operational seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

BY THE NUMBERS

Here are some other key figures being reported today:

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  • There are currently 2,232 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those individuals, 26% are in the ICU, with 19% on ventilators. Ferrer said the hospitalization rate has ticked up over the past few days. “We’ll need to continue to pay a lot of attention to this, to make sure that we’re not starting to see significant increases in the number of people requiring hospitalizations.”
  • Ferrer said 916 cases have been confirmed among people experiencing homelessness in L.A. County.
  • Ferrer said the county was back to testing more than 20,000 people daily after facing some setbacks.
  • Overall, more than 1,540,289 COVID-19 tests have been carried out and their results reported to L.A. County health officials. Of those tests, 10% have been positive.
  • There have now been 3,317 confirmed cases “at some point in time” in county jail facilities, Ferrer reported. In total, 2,974 inmates and 343 staff members have tested positive.
  • There are 190 confirmed cases in the state prison system — 133 inmates and 57 staff.
  • Ferrer reported that 63 health care workers have died from the virus in the county. Almost half of them were nurses and more than 70% of the health care workers who have contracted the virus were employed in nursing homes.
  • Of the 812 pregnant women with confirmed cases in the county, 77% are Latina, “a mirror image of the inequity that Latinx people have experienced since the beginning of the pandemic," Ferrer said. One pregnant woman with COVID-19 has died.
  • 100% of babies born to mothers infected with the virus tested negative for COVID-19.

Ferrer indicated that contact tracing — identifying people who may have come into contact with someone who tests positive for the virus — has had mixed results. She said less than 50% of COVID-19-positive individuals contacted by the county provided information about others they have been in close contact with.
She said those who declined to provide their contacts were often worried about losing housing or their job. “There’s also likely an inherent distrust of providing anybody with their personal information,” Ferrer said.

  • MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the total number of cases reported today as 3,116 and the total number of cases thus far as 159,046. LAist regrets the error.

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