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11 New Coronavirus Cases Confirmed In LA County, Bringing Our Total To 53

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A sign posted up in a restroom reminding people to wash their hands. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
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Eleven new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Los Angeles County, with the total number now at 53, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Patients in two of these new cases have been hospitalized.

"Unfortunately as we've been predicting, we continue to see a fairly rapid increase in the number of cases here in L.A. County," L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told us today.

Ferrer said 10 of the total cases were likely due to community transmission.

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One of the reasons there are more positives being reported is that more testing is being conducted. Over the last four days, commercial labs have tested 212 people in L.A. County, Public Health's lab has tested 118 people, and the CDC in Atlanta has tested 30 local cases. In one case, a young person infected a child, Ferrer said.

  • In tests done by the county: About 27% of the cases were positive, in cases of people with serious illness
  • Of the tests conducted by commercial labs, about 5% percent were positive
  • 10% of those tested by the CDC were positive.

"We anticipate the number of folks who have had community exposure will again rise over the next few days, as we get more and more information about all of the cases," Ferrer said.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

Four of the new cases had close contact with a confirmed case, two were exposed during recent travel, and the source was unidentified in two more cases. The other three cases are pending further investigation.

The department reiterated warnings to the public to use social distancing and good hygiene to slow the spread of the disease. She said:

"I would urge you to get on board. It's really clear that we have community transmission. I like to say, universal precautions at this point means everybody has a part to play, and everybody is doing social distancing."

She added that social distancing is the only tool we have right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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Her department is investigating the most recent cases and will notify anyone who may have had close personal contact with these people. All confirmed cases are being isolated, with close contacts being quarantined, according to the department.

You should not call 911 to request testing for COVID-19, according to Ferrer. She added that you should not to go to the emergency room unless you are seriously ill and require emergency care. If you have a respiratory illness and want to know whether to be tested, the department advises you to call your health care provider or 2-1-1 to find a clinic near you.

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