L.A. County Confirms 16 More Coronavirus Cases, Bringing Total to 69

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 16 more cases of coronavirus today, bringing the county's total to 69.

Ten of those 69 cases are “likely due to community transmission,” the health department said.

The cases announced Sunday include one with an unidentified source of exposure, three cases exposed during recent travel, two cases of health-care workers exposed in a health-care setting, four who had close contact with a confirmed case, and five that are pending more investigation.

The 16th case was previously reported Saturday by Long Beach officials, as that city has its own health department.

“We anticipate more cases and increased community spread as more testing occurs,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County's public health director. “We are asking everyone to expect more social distancing requirements as more cases are identified. Please do not call 911 to request testing for COVID-19 and please do not go to our emergency rooms unless you are seriously ill and require emergency care.

“If you have respiratory illness and want to know if you should be tested for COVID-19, it is best to call your health care provider or, if you don't have a provider, call 2-1-1 for help finding a clinician near you. Our healthcare providers are prepared to see more cases, but we must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to minimize strain on our healthcare system and other service providers.”

The health department will notify people who may have had close personal contact with the confirmed patients, to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness. All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined, Ferrer said.

Meanwhile, county officials are using Dockweiler RV Park, an area on the beach just south of LAX, as a coronavirus isolation zone for people who are ordered to quarantine or isolate but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, especially those who are homeless or visiting the area with nowhere else to stay.

The area is under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County, but on Sunday the nearby city of El Segundo warned the public not to go north of 12505 Vista Del Mar, where the Youth Center and Beach Cafe are located.

And Children's Hospital Los Angeles reported Friday that it is treating a patient between the ages of 6 and 9 for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

According to the hospital, the youngster is in fair condition and has no history of travel. The child is also receiving care for an unrelated underlying condition that most likely made the child vulnerable to the virus.

The patient is in isolation and both parents, who remain asymptomatic, are with their child in quarantine, according to CHLA officials, who said the case has not impacted hospital operations.

“The COVID-19 test was administered while the child was being treated at another hospital. CHLA was notified that the patient was a suspected COVID-19 patient and took all necessary safety and infection control precautions during the emergency transport and admittance,” the hospital's statement says.

Photo: Getty Images

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