With high number of new cases and fatalities, L.A. County emerges as coronavirus epicenter in California

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Padlocks seal a gate for the Victory Trailhead at the Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve in Woodland Hills.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Padlocks seal a gate for the Victory Trailhead at the Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve in Woodland Hills.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The death toll from the coronavirus jumped again Thursday to 78 in Los Angeles County as officials warned residents “many weeks of work” were ahead before the region might see signs that the spread was slowing.

Although cases are rising across the state, Los Angeles County — the state’s most populous — has seen a large number of fatalities and new cases. Officials acknowledged the psychological toll of the losses but said it’s essential people keep following social distancing rules and health guidelines.

“Please don’t lose hope, and please don’t stop following all of the directives that you are following right now to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The county confirmed 13 new coronavirus-related deaths Thursday, bringing the toll to 78. Twelve of the victims were older than 65, and all but one of them had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. The other person who died was between ages 41 and 65 and also had underlying health conditions, she said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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