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For 1st Time, Majority Of New Coronavirus Deaths In LA County Happened In Institutional Settings

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For the first time, the majority of new coronavirus deaths reported in Los Angeles County, occurred within institutional settings, according to health officials.

By "institutional settings," the county means nursing homes, assisted living facilities, shelters, treatment centers, supportive living, correctional facilities, workplaces, food and retail, and educational institutions.

The total confirmed cases in institutional settings now stands at 8,783, including 5,684 cases among residents and 3,099 cases among staff, said public health director Barbara Ferrer at the county's daily coronavirus task force briefing today.

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In total, 865 people living in such settings have now died, representing 51% of all deaths from COVID-19 in L.A County. The vast majority of those deaths were residents of nursing homes.

In addition, Ferrer pointed out that coronavirus deaths long ago surpassed the average number of people killed by influenza each year, and in less time.

Last year the county saw 125 flu deaths, and the year before that about 300, she said. On average, the county sees about 250 flu deaths a year, Ferrer said, compared to over 1,700 deaths from COVID-19 so far this year.

TODAY'S NUMBERS

Ferrer reported 51 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 1,709.

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She also reported 925 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 35,329 cases countywide. That total includes 1,094 cases reported in Long Beach and 607 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own public health departments).

Of the 51 people who’ve died in the past 24 hours, 35 were over 65 and, of those victims, 32 had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. Twelve people were between 41 and 65 and eleven of them had underlying health conditions.

Ferrer did not have details on the Long Beach and Pasadena residents who died.

So far, 92% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. About 16% of all cases have resulted in hospitalization. Fully 40% are 65 years or younger, which means a lot of people in different age groups, who also have underlying conditions, have become seriously ill and some have died, she said.

Of those hospitalized today, 16% are in the ICU, and 19% are on ventilators.

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L.A. County now has results back on more than 272,000 COVID-19 tests, with 11% returning positive.

Ferrer also reported 261 confirmed cases among people experiencing homelessness, 140 of whom were sheltered and have now been isolated (and their contacts quarantined).

The county is investigating 369 institutions where there's at least one confirmed or suspected case, and Ferrer said there have so far been 526 cases in jail facilities — 414 among those incarcerated and 112 among staff.

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