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LA County Hits Record High Of 5,031 Cases Of Coronavirus In Single Day

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A waitress delivers orders to diners seated outside under tents at an Alhambra restaurant on November 17, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
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L.A. County is reporting extremely high numbers of coronavirus cases, with 5,031 confirmed today.

That's according to Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis, who told reporters in a private media briefing that officials are "deeply concerned" about the current surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

"New positive cases are both real and concerning," Davis said. "It's the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases we've reported without there being a backlog."

Davis said increased testing is not the reason we are seeing these high numbers.

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Yesterday, health officials explained that if L.A. county reaches a five-day average of over 4,500 cases, we could go back to a Safer At Home order. As of today, we've hit a two-day average that meets this threshold.

"We still have a few more days to go. But if the numbers remain high, then potentially you know by Sunday we could have the five day average being higher than then what we would want to see, and would need to implement a safer at home order," Davis said.

A new 'curfew' for outdoor dining will take effect tomorrow (Friday). Davis said he's not yet sure how this curfew would be enforced and whether or not law enforcement will be involved.

Davis explained that the surge we're seeing now is greater than the one we experienced in late June/early July, when average daily cases increased by 43%. Between October 28 and November 10, the average daily cases increased by a whopping 68%.

"We're now seeing a much more rapid surge in cases than we saw in the summer with yesterday's and today's case counts," Davis told reporters. "Recently we've been receiving and investigating over 20 new outbreaks per day."

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The county is also reporting 29 deaths from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities in L.A. County to 7,363.

"At this point, no one should be still underestimating the spread of this virus, nor should anyone be questioning the actions we still need to slow the spread," Davis said.

He recommended shopping early for groceries before the Thanksgiving holidays to avoid crowds, as well as avoiding family dinners with people from different households. He also advised against any holiday travel.

Davis didn't cite al fresco dining as a cause of the virus' surge, but he did advise against eating out in person. "While restaurants remain open for outdoor dining at limited capacity it is far safer to order from your favorite restaurant for pickup or delivery," he said.

Officals are hopeful that numbers will improve, but with the holidays approaching, there's a lot of uncertainty.

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"In all honesty, we never expected or hoped that we would be in this situation at this time of the year," Davis said. "You know, we were really hoping that we would be in stage two by this time of the year in November -- getting our schools back open. But unfortunately we're not seeing that."

At 3 p.m., California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly will hold a live video briefing to provide more updates.

MORE ABOUT THE RECENT COVID SURGE:

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