31 new COVID-19 deaths reported in L.A. County represent largest one-day fatality increase, raise total to 296

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Health officials announced 31 new deaths from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County on Sunday, representing the largest number of fatalities attributed to the virus reported in a single day in the county and bringing the total number of deaths to 296.

Just under 9,200 cases of the virus had been detected in the county, with 323 new cases reported Sunday and 779 new cases reported over the weekend, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The figures include Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own health agencies.

With respect to this weekend’s fatalities, “Twenty-five people who died were over the age of 65 and six people were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old,” the agency said in a written statement. “Sixty-five percent of the people who died had underlying health conditions.”

Sunday’s report represented the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths yet reported in L.A. County. Twenty-nine death were reported by county health officials on Wednesday, which had previously been the largest reported number of fatalities in one day.

Of the 296 total deaths recorded in the county, 83 percent of the patients had underlying health conditions, officials said.

L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer expressed condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

“As many Angelenos celebrate the Easter holiday today, I want to acknowledge those families that are grieving the loss of a loved one associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “My thoughts and prayers are with all those who are experiencing loss, illness, and distress today.”

“I also want to thank everyone for continuing to do their part to help suppress this virus; please stay at home whenever possible and when you go out in public, wear a cloth face covering,” she said.

Health officials said 2,246 of those who tested positive for COVID-19, or 24%, have required hospitalization at some point during their illness.

“Testing capacity continues to increase in L.A. County, with testing results available for over 47,000 individuals and 14% of people testing positive,” according to the health department statement.

Officials also removed four previously reported deaths from their records after determining that the victims were not residents of L.A. County.

“Public Health reminds everyone that if you are ill, even with mild symptoms, please self- isolate at home for 7 days and until you are fever and symptom free for 72 hours,” the health department’s statement said. “If you have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is presumed to be infected with COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days from your last contact with that individual.”

People over 65 years of age, those with underlying health issues and pregnant women are urged to contact their doctors as soon as they feel sick.

More information on COVID-19 from the L.A. County Department of Public Health is available online.

Workers in Westlake were preparing for the reopening of the recently-shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center as a COVID-19 hospital on Monday.

The facility at 3rd and Alvarado streets, which is being leased by the state to serve as Los Angeles Surge Hospital, will house 266 intensive-care unit beds, officials said.

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