coronavirus

LA County Reports 1,700 New COVID-19 Cases, With Cases Expected to Increase Due to Incomplete Data

Testing results were available for nearly 1,640,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.

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Los Angeles County reported 1,703 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 173,995 cases and 4,360 fatalities.

Officials said Sunday's figures were incomplete due to delays in the state electronic lab reporting system, and the number of cases is expected to increase in the coming days once the data becomes available.

On Saturday, the county had reported 3,628 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 53 deaths.

The confirmed number of people hospitalized with the virus was 2,033, with 31% of those in intensive care, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. But officials said there are a total of 2,628 confirmed and suspected cases currently hospitalized, and 16% of these people are on ventilators.

The hospitalization data is incomplete due to data from six non-reporting hospitals not being part of Sunday's update.

"We send our condolences and prayers to our neighbors who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 including the families and colleagues mourning two devoted first responders -- a city of Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter and a Los Angeles Police Department officer,'' said Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director.

"The actions each of us take affect the lives of others including the very people we rely on to protect us -- first responders and health care workers. We know that staying physically distant from people not in your household, wearing face coverings and washing hands frequently works to slow the spread of COVID-19 and saves lives. This pandemic has been tragic for many and frustrating and exhausting for most. We know the sooner we get back to slowing the spread the sooner we can move forward on our recovery journey."

Testing results were available for nearly 1,640,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.

Officials said it's important that people who think they could be positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results to stay at home and act as if they are positive. This means self-isolating for 10 days and 24 hours after symptoms and fever subside. If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should plan on receiving a call from a public health specialist to discuss how to protect themselves and others, to find out where they have been, and who they were in close contact with while infectious.

Cumulatively, 92% percent of the county residents who have died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions.

Hospitalizations have been an area of concern in recent weeks, with the number topping 2,200 in Los Angeles County for five consecutive days last week, the highest levels of the pandemic.

Two Los Angeles-area hospitals got some additional staffing help Friday courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, which deployed medical teams across the state, including one at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and another at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services secretary, said a total of eight teams were deployed across the state.

"We looked across the state," Ghaly said. "LA County -- with big hospitals, important centers where we see disease transmission high, concern to make sure the hospitals in that important center are supported -- received two out of eight of the teams. Sort of a proportionate share, if you will, across the state. But remember some of the other teams went to the northern parts, even rural parts of the state, to make sure that the hospitals are supported.

"We'll continue to work with our federal partners to ensure that staff can be moved to strategic places throughout the state when necessary," he said.

Ghaly said the goal is to ensure "patients get the level of care that they need and that staffing doesn't become the issue around delivering high-quality care around the state."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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