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L.A. County coronavirus-related deaths top 1,500

Hikers at El Scorpion Park take advantage of newly reopened trails on Saturday in West Hills.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County public health officials Saturday reported 1,011 new coronavirus cases and 44 related deaths, pushing the total number of virus-related deaths to more than 1,500.

Long Beach, which has its own public health department, reported an additional 33 cases and three deaths, bringing the county’s total to 31,230 cases and 1,515 deaths.

“Many people in our community are experiencing profound loss because their loved ones have passed away from COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, the county public health director, said in a statement. “We keep you in our thoughts and prayers every day.”

The rising numbers come as state and county officials have taken steps toward easing stay-at-home orders by reopening trails and golf courses and permitting some businesses to resume curbside pickup operations.

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Still, officials say it’s crucial to continue practicing physical distancing and frequent handwashing, and that those who are older or have underlying health conditions should continue to stay home.

“If you are out and about this weekend, please take every precaution since any one of us, even if we are not sick, could be infected with COVID-19 and capable of infecting others,” Ferrer said.

That includes staying six feet away from others and wearing a face covering if others are near you, she said.

“These actions are critically important as we begin the journey of recovery so that we don’t find ourselves with large increases in hospitalizations and deaths that would require us to reinstitute restrictions,” Ferrer said.

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As of Friday, there were 1,790 COVID-19 patients in L.A. County hospitals, with 29% in intensive care and 16% on ventilators. The hospitalization rate has remained relatively stable for the past week and a half, Ferrer said.


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