L.A. County COVID-19 cases top 26,000, as deaths climb to 1,256; Cases among healthcare workers surge

L.A. County COVID-19 cases top 26,000, as deaths climb to 1,256; Cases among healthcare workers surge

Health officials reported 28 new COVID-19 deaths in Los Angeles County Monday, bringing the total number of deaths attributed to the virus to 1,256 countywide.

Another 568 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus, marking 26,217 positive cases within the county Monday, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Of the 28 new deaths reported Monday, 22 of them were people over the age of 65. Of those 22, 18 had underlying health conditions. Four of the people who died were between age 41 to 65 and all had underlying health conditions.

Of those who died, information on race was available for 99% of people, of which about 38% were among Latinx residents, 29% among White residents, 19% among Asian residents, 13% among African American residents, 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.

“African Americans, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and people living in communities with high levels of poverty continue to have the highest rate of death per 100,000 people for COVID-19 when compared to other groups,” the county said in a statement.

Of all 1,256 people who died of COVID-19 in the county, 93% of them had underlying health conditions, County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.

She urged vulnerable groups to stay at home and to get essential items delivered to further protect themselves from exposure. More people die each day in L.A. County from COVID-19 than any other disease, Ferrer added.

COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers continues to rise, Ferrer said, with 2,978 confirmed among healthcare workers and first responders. The figure is 1,010 more new cases than there were last week.

Healthcare workers who tested positive work in 24 different occupational settings, and the vast majority in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals.

Of healthcare workers who tested positive, 44% are among nurses. And, 78% of healthcare workers with known exposure were exposed in a healthcare facility.

Testing capacity continues to increase in the county, with 34 mobile testing sites set up throughout the county. Nearly 173,000 individuals have been tested thus far, with 13% of them testing positive for the virus.

Of all those who test positive, 5,019 people or 19% have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, the county said.

There are 196 confirmed cases among the homeless population, officials said.

Although Project Room Key, which is meant to house homeless and vulnerable Angelenos, is behind in efforts to place 15,000 people in hotels and motels, L.A. County Board of Supervisors chair Kathryn Barger said effort will be accelerated in coming weeks.

The briefing came just after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the second phase of reopening parts of the state could go into effect as early as Friday.

“All of us share in the responsibility to reopen in a way that is safe and doesn’t cause a spike,” Ferrer said, adding that the virus has not changed and is still easily transmitted among people in close contact.

She said that people will still need to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines as the county moves toward reopening.

“There will be new normals during this period,” Ferrer said.

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