L.A. County grapples with surging COVID-19 caseload as deaths continue to rise

Motorists line up to take COVID-19 tests at  Long Beach City College-Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Drivers line up to take coronavirus tests at dusk at Long Beach City College-Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County public health officials Saturday reported 70 new COVID-19 deaths and 11,476 new cases.

The numbers reflect a continuing surge in coronavirus infections in California’s most populous county.

The five-day average of cases is 10,034, compared to 2,134 a month ago — a jump of 370%, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.


A month ago, the five-day average of deaths was 12. As of Saturday, the average had climbed to 62, a 416% increase.

The number of COVID-19 patients in L.A. County has topped 4,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“Our daily case numbers are unlike any we have ever seen in our county and reflect extraordinarily high rates of community transmission,” the department said. “Activities we were able to do just a few weeks back, now present far too much risk for virus transmission.”

The steadily rising caseload in Los Angeles County comes alongside the state marking more than 1.5 million cumulative cases Friday, with an average of 29,000 new cases tallied each day across California. More than 20,900 people have died in the state.