46 new cases of COVID-19 reported in L.A. County, bringing total to 190; numbers likely to increase in coming weeks

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There are 46 new cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, bringing the total to 190, and the cases are expected to increase for the next four to 12 weeks, health officials said Wednesday.

“That means we had 96 new cases over the last 48 hours,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, emphasized.

All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined, Ferrer added.

The county has broken down cases by city, and Ferrer said that if you don’t see your city on the list, it does not mean that there is no need to worry.

“You can assume that for every case where we’re testing people, there are maybe five to 10 cases in all of our communities of people who haven’t been tested, that are in fact infected with COVID-19 and able to transmit that to others. This is the time for universal precautions,” Ferrer said.

“We’re going to see an increase positive cases today, tomorrow and in the foreseeable future, likely for the next four to even 12 weeks.”

Amid the crisis, school closures in Los Angeles County could possibly last through the end of the school year, Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Wednesday, echoing the somber announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.

Officials are meeting daily to ensure that instruction continues and meals are being provided to students, Debra Durado, superintendent of Los Angeles County Office of Education said Wednesday.

“Although none of us know how long this will go on, we’re doing everything possible, reassessing as we go,” she said.

Supervisor Hilda Solis highlighted the need to protect homeless people during the coronavirus crisis. She said the county is working to move as many people as possible indoors and announced that the county’s winter shelters will remain open through at least April 30.

The city is also making strides in making sure vulnerable people are protected during the crisis.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that the city will open 6,000 beds at 42 city recreation centers in an effort to get homeless people off the street during the coronavirus pandemic.

A safe storage facility for homeless people to keep their belongings opened in Echo Park Wednesday, L.A. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell announced. The storage facility is located at 1146 N. Glendale Blvd. and will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

In addition, the city is delivering 285 hygiene stations to homeless encampments across Los Angeles. The stations provide shower and restroom facilities. Mobile hygiene units will also continue to operate in O’Farrell’s 13th District.

For more information about what city and county officials are doing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 among homeless people, visit Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s website.

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Wednesday evening show there are 7,038 diagnosed cases in the U.S., with 97 deaths.

More than 8 million Californians are living under shelter-in-place orders, and on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he doubted schools would reopen for the remainder of the academic year.

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