One day after Los Angeles County residents were asked to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, county health officials announced today that an additional 61 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in L.A. County, bringing the total number to 292. There have been 101 new cases confirmed over the past 48 hours.
According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director for public health in L.A. County, 48 people have been hospitalized in the county - three of the new cases are currently in the hospital. As of March 18, at least 2,400 people in L.A. County have been tested with about 10% of those testing positive.
Dr. Ferrer warned that younger people should take the virus seriously, as the county has seen at least 138 cases involving people between the ages of 18 and 65, saying that the median age of patients is 47.
“The risk is spread across everybody who lives here in Los Angeles County,” she said. “Younger people, while they may have a better outcome (from an infection) ... are in fact one of the largest groups of people that we have tested who are positive for COVID-19.”
Statewide, the number of cases reached 1,006 on Friday, with the death toll in the state reaching 19. California Governor Gavin Newsom warned residents on Thursday that up to 25.5 million people in the state could become infected with COVID-19 over the next two months.
L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said Friday the county reached a lease agreement with the Sheraton Fairplex hotel in Pomona to provide housing for people who need to be quarantined after testing positive for coronavirus, showing symptoms of the illness or being exposed to someone who has the virus.
The hotel will provide 244 rooms, with one occupant per room.
L.A. County issued a "Safer at Home" order, which is a step below a shelter-in-place or lockdown. Residents are being asked to remain home as much as possible and to leave only for essential needs, such as picking up food, groceries or medication. Nonessential retail stores have been asked to c lose their doors and people should work from home wherever possible.
The total number of cases around Southern California include:
- Los Angeles County: 292
- Orange County:53
- Ventura County: 17
- Riverside County: 22
- San Bernardino County: 5
- San Diego County: 101
To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Photo: Getty Images