On the heels of Los Angeles County allowing the opening of business like gyms and museums, the Department of Public Health Saturday confirmed 58 new deaths related to COVID-19, along with 1,568 new cases in the county.
With the new cases and deaths, the county has now recorded 2,890 deaths and more than 72,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
“For the many people across our communities who are experiencing the sadness of losing a loved one to COVID-19, we are deeply sorry for your loss,” said Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer in a statement. “If you are out this weekend visiting businesses that have reopened, please remember to follow all of the directives for protecting one another from the spread of COVID-19, including keeping physical distance of at least 6 feet whenever possible, wearing a cloth face covering when around others, and washing hands frequently.”
According to Public Health, 93% of the deaths in the county related to the novel coronavirus involved people who had underlying health conditions.
In addition, the department has reported race and ethnicity 99% of the people who have died as a result of the virus: 41% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents; 29% among White residents; 17% among Asian residents; 11% among African American residents; less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.
County health officials this week noted that the rate of spread of COVID-19 was inching higher, potentially threatening the availability of intensive-care unit hospital beds within two to four weeks.
On Friday, LA County entered a new phase of California's road map to reopening the state, with gyms and fitness facilities allowed to open, along with day camps, museums and hotels for leisure travel. However, bars, nightclubs and lounges are still closed, along with nail salons.
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For businesses and attractions that do reopen, restrictions will have to be enforced, including face coverings and social distancing and rigorous cleaning and sanitation regimens.
Just because the county has cleared the businesses to reopen does not mean all of them automatically will. The Los Angeles Zoo issued a statement Thursday saying it does not anticipate reopening until July, with officials still "making preparations"' to resume operating.
Ferrer stressed Wednesday that the reopening of more business sectors should not be seen as an indication the county is out of the woods in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, noting, "We're still in the middle of the woods and we have a lot of risk.''
She said it will remain important for residents to adhere to the health restrictions when visiting any reopened business, and for the businesses themselves to enforce them.
For a full breakdown of cases and deaths by area: click here.
City News Service contributed to this report