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LA County Marks 'A New Chapter' Of COVID-19 Response As Cases And Hospitalizations Surge

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Watch Los Angeles County's coronavirus task force update on the COVID-19 pandemic above.

Los Angeles County officials reported 1,584 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 116,570 cases countywide. In total, 4,379 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 1,401 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 48 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 3,534 people.

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So far, 93% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. She also noted that a lag in death and case reporting typically leads to smaller counts on Mondays.

Today’s reporting follows numbers released yesterday showing a new record for the most new COVID-19 cases in a single day last Friday: 3,187.

Ferrer said L.A. County is in "a new chapter of our response," adding:

"... unfortunately, where we are today is different than where we were two three or four weeks ago. Cases are surging, hospitalizations are increasing and, mostly, this is all a reflection of a lot more community spread."

There are currently 1,921 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in L.A. County, the "highest number that we've been reporting over many weeks," Ferrer noted. Of those patients, 28% are in the ICU and 18% are on ventilators.

Younger people, those in the 18-40 age range (represented in the green line in the chart below) account for nearly half of all new cases, according to public health data.

(Courtesy Los Angeles County)

And younger people are infecting others with the virus. The hospitalization rates among people ages 18-40 and 41-65 have both increased in recent weeks.

Ferrer said the evidence is clear: many people, including many younger people, are no longer following the health guidelines that helped flatten the curve in L.A. County.

"The sooner we can all recommit to taking care of each other, the sooner we get back to creating a new normal, where we go back to work, to school, we see our friends and our extended families," Ferrer said.

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