Los Angeles County has reported 50 more deaths from COVID-19 and 2,303 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the county's totals to 190,693 cases and 4,669 deaths.
Last week's deaths continue to remain higher than the previous week's average of nearly 38 new deaths a day, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Officials have been warning about an anticipated increase in fatalities, following a sharp increase in hospitalizations that began in mid-July, roughly two weeks after the Fourth of July weekend that is being blamed for prompting numerous public gatherings despite health restrictions banning them.
Hospital admissions have been leveling off over the past week, with 1,904 people hospitalized as of Saturday and 30% in intensive care. That's a drop from 2,002 hospitalizations Friday.
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“To the many families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, we send you our deepest condolences and prayers,” said Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health. “The number of deaths we are seeing is a sad reminder of the devastation COVID-19 causes. We can save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19 by modifying our behavior when we are around others. Only by doing our part and working together can we reduce transmission to a lower rate that allows more people to get back to work and allows our children to return to their classrooms. Hopefully, as you make your decisions about how to spend this beautiful weekend, you will do so understanding your power to affect the health of the entire community.”
Testing results were available for nearly 1,779,000 people, with 10% of all people testing positive, Ferrer said.
Of the 50 deaths reported Saturday, 12 were over the age of 80, 15 were between 65 and 79, 15 were between 50 and 64, and five were between 30 and 49 years old. Two deaths were reported by the city of Pasadena and one death was reported by the city of Long Beach. Those cities have their own health departments.
County officials again reminded businesses owners this week of their responsibility to adhere to public health protocols for operating, including the requirement to report to the county any outbreaks of three or more cases. The county's health officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, told reporters Thursday that three food-processing plants that were recently shuttered by the county due to large-scale outbreaks failed to report the cases to the county. All of them had at least 40 confirmed cases of the virus, but the county only learned of the outbreaks through an anonymous tipline.
Those outbreaks occurred at Golden State Foods Corp. in Industry, S&S Foods in Azusa and Mission Foods in Commerce. While the companies have reopened, Davis said an investigation is continuing into two deaths of Mission Food employees that may have due to the virus.