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LA County COVID-19 Cases Top 100K And Set Record For Most Cases In A Single Day

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

Los Angeles County officials reported 2,903 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus today — the most in a single day so far in the region.

That brings the total to at least 100,772 cases countywide. In total, 3,643 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 1,276 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

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This comes as community spread of the coronavirus and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has risen sharply since last week — and more quickly than health officials expected. Now, those officials project the death rate from the virus will also rise.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer characterized the current situation as a train, warning it "can be a runaway train if we don't put the brakes on it."

She had this advice for county residents: "This is the time to hunker down, back in your home, whenever you can."

Even though the 4th of July holiday is just around the corner, Ferrer advised county residents against celebrating in person with family and friends outside their households.

"This is going to be a different summer," she said.

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Ferrer presented a new chart, showing "definitively" that community spread has risen sharply in recent weeks.

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(Courtesy Los Angeles County)

More people are being hospitalized, too. In the last two weeks, daily hospitalizations are up 27%, Ferrer said, "from 1,319 at the beginning of the month to 1,669 on June 27."

The dramatic shifts have health officials very concerned that hospitals could reach capacity and ICU beds could fill up in the coming weeks.

Last week, officials estimated that one in 400 county residents was infected and not isolated. This week, that estimate is now one in 140, according to Christina Ghaly, who oversees the county's Department of Health Services.

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"It means we all need to do a better job and take our individual responsibility to do the things we know will work in combating the spread and continued transmission of this virus," she said. "The more individuals ignore the guidance on wearing masks and cloth face coverings, physically distancing when possible, exercising discretion on how often, and when and where you go outside of your house, the longer this virus will continue to spread across the county and the more lives will ultimately be put at risk."

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

The simple answer: many businesses and individuals are not following the health rules put in place to protect us all. Ferrer explained:

"... there are a number of businesses and individuals who have not followed the directives, and they've gone back to living as if COVID-19 is not in our community. So I need to say to all of us — businesses and individuals across the county — that at this point, if you're not part of the solution to slowing the spread, you're ending up being part of the problem."

Ferrer said too many restaurant and bar operators are not following the health protocols required to stay open. Public complaints have been streaming in, and the most common issues include businesses not posting their health and sanitation procedures for patrons, employees not wearing face coverings and face shields, and businesses not enforcing physical distancing.
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"Immediate action is needed," she said," and all of us, businesses and individuals need to figure out how we personally are going to help to turn things around, otherwise we're quickly moving towards overwhelming our health care system, and seeing even more devastating illness and death."

BY THE NUMBERS

The number of confirmed cases among people ages 18 to 40 is up 42% over the past two weeks, Ferrer said, reminding younger county residents that while they may not suffer serious health issues from COVID-19, they can spread the virus to people who will.

Ferrer also reported 22 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 3,326 people.

So far, 93% 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 3,093 of the victims. According to the latest available information:

  • 11% African American [9% of county residents]
  • 17% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
  • 43% Latino / Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 27% White [26.1% 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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