Los Angeles County health officials reported 1,523 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 additional deaths Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 63,844 cases and 2,645 fatalities.
"Our community is feeling the sadness and loss of so many who have passed away from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have passed away. We are so sorry for your loss," Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health, said Sunday. "If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it's important to know that, because of the long incubation period of the virus, getting tested immediately after exposure is likely to yield a negative result and does not mean you are not infected with COVID-19. It is important to please stay away from others for 14 days after possible exposure. We all need to continue to be diligent about physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings when out and around others. These actions are respectful and save lives."
The percentage of people dying who had underlying health conditions remained high, at 93%, leading Ferrer to caution vulnerable residents to continue to stay home even as more businesses begin to open and to call a doctor at the first sign of symptoms.
She said the county is working hard to increase resources for under- resourced communities, including expanding testing sites to 73 facilities across the county.
"The very real impact of the injustices plays out every day with the news I share with you and amplifies why racism is a public health issue," Ferrer said. "The disproportionately higher number of deaths from COVID-19 among black and brown people is an indication of the impact of racism and discrimination on health and well-being.
"It starts at the beginning of life when black babies are three to four more times likely to die before they reach their first birthday and at the very end of life when black residents die, on average, six to 10 years younger than all others," Ferrer continued. "We must look at the root at the structures, systems and practices in our society to understand the root cause of these inequities."