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L.A. County coronavirus cases top 45,000 as officials urge social distancing

Visitors stream into and out of Pasadena's Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park on Sunday.
Visitors stream into and out of Pasadena’s Eaton Canyon Natural Area on Sunday, which prompted park officials to close trails for the rest of the holiday weekend.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County reported 913 new COVID-19 cases and 16 additional deaths Sunday, bringing total confirmed cases to 45,034 and fatalities to 2,108.

Statewide in California, there have been 94,406 confirmed cases and 3,755 coronavirus-related deaths.

“For the people who are mourning a loved one who has passed away from COVID-19, we think of you every day and we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s health director, in a statement Sunday. “Please remember, the job we continue to do to protect each other will affect how many new cases, new hospitalizations and new deaths we will see several weeks from now.”

Orange County reported 179 additional cases and one new death on Sunday.

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Health officials have said the Memorial Day holiday weekend will be a big test of whether California can ease stay-at-home restrictions while continuing to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Overall, officials said there were no major problems are beaches, though some places, such as the Venice Boardwalk, saw dense crowds with some people not wearing masks.

Officials closed Eaton Canyon Natural Area trails for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend amid concerns that crowded conditions could pose health risks. The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation said the area was shuttered “due to overwhelming crowds that were not following the COVID-19 public health requirements.”

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Although the death toll continues to grow, L.A. County is showing progress.

The county has seen a 13% decrease in its latest seven-day average of deaths per day and a 16% decrease in its most recent three-day average of hospitalizations per day, according to a Department of Health dashboard that tracks metrics related to recovery.

In addition, the percentage of people who have tested positive in L.A. County has reached an all-time low of 8.5%, compared with 28% in New York City, said Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, on Saturday.


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