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L.A. County reports 1,003 additional coronavirus cases, 17 more deaths

Mayra Trejo gives shopper Ada Gao a mask Thursday at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.
Mayra Trejo, right, a guest services employee, gives shopper Ada Gao, 8, of Irvine a protective mask to wear while shopping with her family at South Coast Plaza during its reopening Thursday in Costa Mesa.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County public health officials Sunday reported 1,003 new cases of the coronavirus and 17 related deaths.

The county now has recorded more than 73,000 cases of the virus, and more than 2,900 people have died.

The number of new cases reported by the county each day has continued to rise, topping 1,000 each day last week except for Monday, when case counts are usually lower due to decreased weekend testing. On Thursday, the county reported its highest one-day total of new cases, nearly 1,850, but said 600 of them were from a backlog of test results.

Officials have attributed the rise in daily new cases to increased testing, but said that more widespread transmission also is possible as more businesses reopen and more people leave their homes.

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Still, the county fell below its goal of performing an average of 15,000 tests each day over the last week, instead averaging 12,494 daily tests, according to the latest figure on the Department of Public Health dashboard that tracks reopening metrics. Two weeks ago, many testing sites were temporarily closed due to protests over the police killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans, which probably contributed to the decline.

By other measures, though, L.A. County appears to remain in good shape in its fight against the virus. The average number of daily hospitalizations continues to decline slightly. There were 1,383 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals Sunday, with 30% in intensive care and 20% on ventilators.

A total of 803,000 people had been tested and received their results, with 8% testing positive. That came after the positivity rate briefly rose to 9% on Saturday.

Officials are keeping a close eye on that rate because they say it’s a better indicator of whether there is increased community spread than the daily number of new cases.

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California has seen a similar increase in new cases statewide, reporting its highest one-day total Thursday and then again Friday. The state has recorded more than 151,000 cases of the virus and more than 5,000 related deaths.

Orange County reported its highest one-day total of new cases Sunday, logging 304 new infections. The county also reported four deaths, bringing its total to 8,573 cases and 221 deaths.

The county has recently seen an increase in coronavirus-related hospitalizations, which rose above 300 for the first time last week. As of Sunday, 290 people were hospitalized, with 144 of them in intensive care.

The increases come as more businesses have been permitted to reopen; in many counties, gyms, day camps, museums and hotels resumed operations Friday. Counties can elect to allow nail salons, massage studios and tattoo parlors to reopen starting Friday.


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