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L.A. County’s public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer urged residents to continue practicing social distancing Sunday as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases climbed past 12,300 with 600 deaths.

“Despite the high number of total deaths and the continued increase in new cases, there is evidence that our physical distancing efforts are working,” Ferrer said in a written statement.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health reported 24 new coronavirus-related deaths and another 334 cases Sunday.

This after the county marked the highest one-day spike in fatalities on Saturday, reporting 81 deaths.

The number of lives lost due to the respiratory illness have more than doubled over the past week.

Of those who died most recently, 16 people were over 65 years old, four were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old and three were between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.

Twenty-three of them had underlying health conditions, including those in the younger age group. So far, 89% of all COVID-19 patients in the county who have died have had underlying health conditions.

“Though there are promising signs that our collective efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 are working, we are sad to report today that more Angelenos have lost their lives to COVID-19, and their loved ones are in our hearts as they mourn,” Ferrer said.

Ferrer called on residents to “remain steadfast in complying with the directives laid out in our Safer at Home Order.”

The health director’s assurance that stay-at-home orders are working comes after rallies have popped up for three days in a row in neighboring Orange County and further down in San Diego County. First in Huntington Beach, then Encinitas, then in San Clemente, protestors called on officials to lift the orders aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday that California’s guiding principle in reopening the state back up will be “facts on the ground.”

“We’re going to do the right thing. Not judge by politics, not judge by protest, but by science,” Newsom said.

The governor had earlier outlined six goals that must be met in order to ease the current restrictions on movement. Those include: expanding the state’s testing capacity, protecting the most vulnerable, addressing the ongoing needs of hospitals preparing for a potential surge, working on developing therapeutics and potentially a vaccine and deciding on how physical distancing would look like when orders are lifted.

L.A. County has so far tested over 79,000 people for the virus, 15% of whom have testing positive.

Of all of the county’s COVID-19 patients, 3,387 people have been hospitalized at some point. That’s 29% of all cases, according to the health department.

Statewide, there were 28,963 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,072 deaths associated with the respiratory illness as of Saturday, according to the California Department of Public Health.

As of Friday, more than 266,900 people had been tested for COVID-19 statewide and 7,200 people were still waiting for their test results.

Ferrer urged people to stay home as much as possible, practice physical distancing and wear facial coverings when outside, as well as to continue washing their hands frequently.

“We know that these are extraordinarily difficult times, and appreciate the efforts made by everyone to bring wellness back to our community,” Ferrer said. “Together we are saving lives and together we will get through this.”