L.A. County COVID-19 deaths reach 1,229, as infections hit 25,662

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Health officials reported 21 new COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths attributed to the virus to 1,229 countywide.

Another 781 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus, marking 25,662 positive cases within the county Sunday, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Sunday’s statistic followed 38 new deaths reported Saturday and 24,894 known infections.

“The people lost to COVID-19 are mourned by all of us in LA County, and to their loved ones, we wish you peace and healing,” L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

Of the 1,229 who have died, 92% had underlying health conditions, the department said.

The Los Angeles County figures include Pasadena, with 417 infections, and Long Beach, with 745, which both have their own health departments.

Of those who tested positive for the virus, 4,986 people, or 20% of positive cases, have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, health officials said.

Testing capacity continues to increase, with 34 mobile testing sites set up throughout the county. Nearly 159,000 individuals have been tested thus fur, with 14% of them testing positive for the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidance this week, with six new COVID-19 symptoms added to its official list. The list of symptoms now includes chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

The CDC also said that new evidence suggests that people who test positive for the virus can stay infectious for longer than previously thought and should self-isolate for 10 days and 72 hours after fever and symptoms subside.

Although statewide stay-at-home orders are in place until May 15, state and local leaders have hinted at taking steps to reopen the economy and easing social distancing rules.

“As Public Health plans on relaxing select directives of the Safer at Home Order, businesses and residents will need to continue to observe and practice physical distancing requirements and infection control precautions,” the department said.

However Ferrer added Friday that the county is not out of the woods yet.

“Without taking extraordinary measures to reduce our exposures to people who are infected, and to keep our distance as much as possible, we could easily see a big spike in new cases,” she said.

More information, including a listing of infections by city, can be found on the Department of Public Health’s website.

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