Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said today that 25 additional cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, have been confirmed in the county, bringing the total number to 94.
At least 41 new cases have been confirmed over the last 48 hours, said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the head of the county's health department. Some of those new cases were due to an increase in "community transmission," which means people are coming down with COVID-19 without any known source of exposure. Of the 25 new cases, five had no known source of exposure, Ferrer said.
“If something it not an essential activity, I urge you not to do it,” Ferrer said. “In the absence of a vaccine, social distancing is the best tool that we have.”
The new cases come amid an order from Mayor Eric Garcetti that closed all bars, restaurants, event venues and gyms in the city of Los Angeles.
“Everything we do right now will determine the outcome of this crisis, and we can save lives if we stay calm, care for one another, and take forceful steps to protect our communities,” Garcetti said. “That's why we must follow the guidelines laid out by Gov. Newsom, build on them for local needs, and put the health and safety of the most vulnerable above all else. Los Angeles has weathered enormous challenges before, and our strength and resilience are this city's most powerful assets.”
County health officials followed up with a similar order on Monday, with bars and gyms ordered to be closed, while restaurants would be restricted to take-out or delivery service only. Pasadena issued a similar order as well on Monday.
Health officials also said that hospitals in L.A. County have activated their "surge plans" in preparation for more coronavirus patients. They stressed the need for people to engage in social distancing and avoid large gatherings of more than 50 people at a time.
After news broke that six Bay Area counties were preparing to order people to 'shelter in place' in the face of the rapidly expanding coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that while L.A. county doesn't have the same kind of numbers they're seeing in the Bay Area, nothing was "off the table."
In Orange County, at least 17 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed by county health officials. So far, 12 men and five women have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Orange County Health Agency. Eleven of those cases were contracted through travel, three through person-to-person spread, and three others who acquired it through community transmission.
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