Los Angeles County reported 11 new coronavirus cases Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 53 as community spread increases in the nation’s most populous county.
Two of the new patients have an unidentified source of exposure to the virus, two were exposed during recent travel, four had come in contact with a known COVID-19 patient and the source of exposure for another three patients is still under investigation, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Officials in Santa Clarita announced Saturday that one of the new cases was in their city.
The city of Long Beach, which has its own public health agency, reported its fifth COVID-19 case Saturday.
The patient was described as being woman in her 60s whose exposure to the illness is unknown, marking the first suspected case of community transmission in Long Beach.
“This case highlights the need for continued vigilance and preparation, especially for those at higher risk of severe illness and those with underlying health conditions,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said.
L.A. County has a total of eight COVID-19 cases believed to be a result of community transmission.
“As expected, we are seeing increased community spread, and as more testing occurs we will continue to see significantly more cases,” Los Angeles County Public Health’s director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Our healthcare providers are prepared to see more cases, but we must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to minimize strain on our healthcare system and other service providers.”
As of Saturday afternoon, California had 288 cases of COVID-19 and five deaths, including one person over 60 who was in L.A. County visiting friends and had previously traveled extensively.
There have been 1,629 cases reported in the United States and 41 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
California, New York and Washington have the highest number of COVID-19 cases across the country.
Health officials called for the public to adhere to social distancing requirements and wash their hands frequently.