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Ferrer: Over 1 Million People Were ‘Out And About’ In LA County This Weekend. 40K Could Have Coronavirus

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Los Angeles County officials reported 477 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 38,451 cases countywide. In total, 1,298 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 694 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 18 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 1,839 people.

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

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The death toll at institutional facilities in L.A. County — particularly at nursing homes — continues to climb. Ferrer reported that 955 residents at those facilities have died. That number represents 52% of all deaths countywide.

One concerning fact Ferrer noted Monday: the vast majority of residents and staff members at institutional facilities who tested positive for COVID-19 did not display symptoms. Health officials have tested more than 3,600 people in those settings, which resulted in 402 positive cases. But only 57 of the people who tested positive had symptoms. Ferrer said 86% of the people that tested positive were asymptomatic, adding:

"These results highlight the fact that there may be, in any setting, significant numbers of people who are positive for COVID-19, with no symptoms. And this is particularly problematic in our institutional settings. Infection control-appropriate personal protective equipment and routine testing are essential for us to create safer environments for employees — and for residents."

Ferrer also said county officials estimate more than 1 million people left their homes to visit newly reopened businesses or public spaces over the weekend. She explained what potential ramifications that could have for the spread of COVID-19:
"If the rate of people that can be positive for COVID-19 is about 4%, we might be able to estimate that as many as 40,000 of the 1 million people who are out and about could be infected with COVID-19.

She went on to point out that "if these people infect just one other person, that would be 80,000 people that could be newly infected with COVID-19. And if even 5% of these people who are newly infected with COVID-19 become seriously ill and need to be hospitalized, that could result in an additional 4,000 people that would need hospital care."

Ferrer also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 1,706 of the victims. According to the latest available information:

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  • 39% of deaths occurred among Latina/Latino residents [48.6% of county residents]
  • 29% among White residents [26.1% of county residents]
  • 18% among Asian residents [15.4% of county residents]
  • 12% among African American residents [9% of county residents]
  • 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents [0.4% of county residents]
  • 1% among residents identifying with other races

Here are some other key figures being reported today:

  • More than 350,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 and had their results reported to L.A. County health officials. Of those tests, 9% have been positive. That rate has dropped as testing increases, Ferrer noted.
  • As of Monday, 4,298 healthcare workers and first responders have tested positive for COVID-19, Ferrer reported, and 26 have died.
  • There are currently 1,570 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those individuals, 27% are in the ICU, with 20% on ventilators. Ferrer noted officials continue to see “small decreases in the number of people that are hospitalized.”
  • In total 5,835 people who've tested positive for coronavirus in L.A. County have "at some point" been hospitalized, Ferrer said, which represents about 15% of all positive cases.
  • The county health department is currently investigating 400 institutional facilities where there's at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. Those sites include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, shelters, treatment centers, supportive living, and correctional facilities. Ferrer said there are 9,909 confirmed cases in those facilities — 6,452 residents and 3,457 staff members.
  • Ferrer said 295 cases have been confirmed among L.A. County residents experiencing homelessness — 156 of whom were sheltered, Ferrer said.
  • There have now been 614 confirmed cases “at some point in time” in county jail facilities, Ferrer reported. In total, 480 inmates and 134 staff members have tested positive.

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