L.A. County reports highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations as death toll surges

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Los Angeles County saw its highest single-day count of reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations Tuesday, as the death toll surged, health officials said.

The 4,244 new cases confirmed Tuesday raised the countywide total to 140,307 infections, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. And, another 73 deaths were reported in the county, bringing the total to 3,894 people who succumbed to the illness. 

“This is one of the highest number of new deaths reported in a day and may reflect a lag in the reporting of deaths over the weekend,” health officials said in a written statement.

Of the 73 people who died, 51 were over the age of 65; 19 people were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old; and one person was between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. 

And, 54 of the 73 had underlying health conditions, officials said. Of all county COVID-19 deaths, 92% of people who died had underlying health conditions.

As of Tuesday, 2,103 people were hospitalized, 27% of whom were in intensive care units and 19% on ventilators. Health officials said Monday that daily hospitalizations remain substantially higher than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen a month ago.

The county has been working to expand its COVID-19 testing capacity as demand surges, adding at least eight new locations and rolling out a new platform for scheduling. More than 1,387,900 people have already been tested across the county, with 9% of all people testing positive, healths officials said.

The county’s health officer order was modified Monday after Gov. Gavin Newsom directed 30 counties, including all in Southern California, to close indoor activities at fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, and indoor malls.

“I know this step back in our recovery journey is disheartening but we must do everything in our power to stop this virus from spreading,” county public health director Barbara Ferrer said at a news conference Monday.

The governor also ordered all 58 counties to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertaining centers, museums, zoos and card rooms, and ordered all bars shuttered across the state.

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Monday that in-person classes will not resume when the school year begins on Aug. 18 due to the increased number of coronavirus infections.

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