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2nd Coronavirus Death In LA County Announced; Returning To Normal Life In A Couple Weeks Unlikely

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A second person in L.A. County has died from coronavirus, county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced at a Thursday press conference, which you can watch above. The person was "relatively young," lived in the Pasadena area, and suffered from an underlying health condition, she said.

"There are many, many young people — particularly between the ages of 18 and 40 — who are infected themselves ... and who, as we've just unfortunately had to report, can die," Ferrer said. "This is not the time to have a party at your house. This is not the time to go hang out with a whole crowd of people at the beach. This is not the time to be crowding up on our trails in our beautiful parks. This is absolutely the time for everyone to practice social distancing."

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The public health department is planning for worst-case scenarios, with the virus potentially lasting for weeks or months, Ferrer said. But, she added, they will also be ready to shift in other scenarios.

"There's absolutely no example I can point to anywhere in the world that would let me believe that we're going to do this for seven days, or 10 days, or even two weeks, and then life is going to return to the normalcy that we all had a few weeks ago," Ferrer said. "That's just not possible, and it's really not likely."

But whether the amount of suppression being done currently can be reduced over time depends on how well people do with it at this time, she added.


As of Wednesday, almost 1,700 people have been tested for coronavirus, Ferrer said. About 13 percent of people who have been tested for coronavirus locally test positive.

The county is working to increase its drive-through testing capabilities, Ferrer said, with more details to be announced as soon as Friday.

Despite calls for wider testing, Ferrer said it was important to continue to check with your doctor first to see if it's appropriate for you to be tested. People without respiratory illness or other symptoms likely will not be tested, she said.

L.A. County Hospitals are working on surging the number of available hospital beds in response to coronavirus, county health services director Dr. Christina Ghaly said.

Ferrer stressed the importance of a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, but noted that you may still not be tested unless you have symptoms.

Ferrer noted the additional difficulties in dealing with coronavirus faced by the homeless population, such as problems observing social distancing and being able to regularly wash your hands.

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There have yet to be positive cases identified in the county's jails, Ferrer said, but added that it is highly likely there will be.


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