Coronavirus cases in L.A. County top 2,400 as death toll rises to 44

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Los Angeles County health officials on Monday reported an additional seven deaths due to coronavirus in the county, bringing the death toll from COVID-19 to 44.

In addition, the county reported 342 new cases, making for a total of 2,474 cases. Positive cases include two homeless people and a person who worked in an interim housing facility, as well as the first county inmate and four jail staff members.

Six of the seven people who died were 65 years old or older, while one was between 41 and 65, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, said during a briefing Monday. Six had preexisting conditions, including the younger patient who died.

The mortality rate of COVID-19 remains at 1.8%, which Ferrer noted was a “staggering reminder” of how deadly the virus can be.

Nearly 500 people who tested positive, or 20% of total cases, were hospitalized at some point. Of those hospitalized, 46% were over 65. An additional 249 people who are hospitalized today are in an intensive-care unit.

Ferrer said the county is investigating COVID-19 cases at 25 institutes in the county, 18 of which are nursing homes. There are 130 confirmed cases of coronavirus in those facilities, including staff and residents, and recently, six people who died from the virus were living at a nursing home.

There are 11 facilities within the county that have three or more positive cases of COVID-19, which is considered an outbreak, Ferrer said. Staff, residents and family members have been notified of the outbreak at those facilities.

Ferrer noted that as of Sunday, about 15,550 people have been tested for COVID-19, with 12% of results coming back positive. She noted that while testing has increased within the county, it is still limited, and wait times for results can be “too long.”

She said that even if you are not experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, it is crucial to continue practicing social distancing.

“The greatest service that everyone can provide at this point is to stay home. Staying home carries with it enormous impact,” Ferrer said. “These are extraordinary times. Everyone should be prepared for this to go on for a while to come.”

Similarly, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said families should prepare to potentially isolate at home in anticipation of a surge of coronavirus cases in California. In addition, California will see a peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in less than 4 weeks, a new forecast found.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump extended the nation’s social distancing restrictions by another month.

There are a total of 140,904 coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Monday, with 2,405 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In California, there are 6,528 cases and 135 deaths.

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