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L.A. County reports 1,073 new coronavirus cases, 40 deaths

People take advantage of the newly opened walking path on the Strand in Manhattan Beach on Friday.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday reported 1,073 new cases of the coronavirus and 40 related deaths.

Long Beach, which has its own health department, reported an additional 57 cases, bringing the county’s total to
37,360 cases in L.A. County cases and 1,793 deaths.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost someone they love to COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, the county public health director, said in a statement. “We share in your sorrow, and wish you healing and peace.”

There were 1,648 coronavirus patients in county hospitals, with 26% in intensive care and 20% on ventilators, officials said. The metric is one of several that officials are closely watching in order to determine when to lift additional stay-at-home restrictions, and it continues to decrease slightly.

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Overall, about 16% of all positive cases recorded by the county have required hospitalization at some point.

“If that number holds steady, we do OK,” Ferrer said Saturday during a Facebook Live chat with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “If that number starts increasing, we don’t do OK because we can overwhelm our hospitals.”

More than 298,000 people have been tested and received their results, with about 11% testing positive. Still, the county remains below its goal of performing 15,000 tests a day. Over the past week, it has performed an average of 11,404 tests each day, according to a dashboard released by the county Department of Public Health.

As more businesses and outdoor areas reopen and more people are out and about, the responsibility to stem the spread of the virus has shifted onto individuals, Ferrer said.

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“I know it’s not always easy to say we all have to take some personal responsibility because it’s hard to do that,” Ferrer said. “But if we’re going out more than we were, our obligation to the other person, to protect that other person from the fact that we could be infected and not know that we’re infected, becomes paramount.”

Right now, the only available tools to achieve that are wearing face coverings and keeping distance from others, she said.

“We don’t have a vaccination. We don’t have therapeutic medicine. We don’t have rapid testing so you can test yourself every morning and in 10 minutes know whether you were positive or not. We don’t have those yet,” she said.

“I’m hopeful that we will have some of that and that we’ll have it as soon as possible, but in the absence of that, I’m relying on you and you need to rely on me. And that’s how we’re going to get through this together.”


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