The number of of COVID-19 cases in L.A. County continue to rise, with health officials announcing another 425 people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the head of the county's public health department, also reported another 25 deaths, bringing the county's death toll to 223. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for those who test positive for the illness, continued to increase locally to 2.8% - a full percentage point higher than it was this time last week.
Dr. Ferrer said the number of cases found among the homeless have also increased, with 20 cases reported so far. Most of those patients were living on the streets, but at least four cases came from people who are believed to have been living in shelters.
A homeless-services worker who tested positive for COVID-19 also died this week, Ferrer said. The patient was identified as an employee of the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles. According to Mission President Andy Bales, the employee had formally been homeless and had been working at the mission after completing a recovery program.
County officials also confirmed that at least 47 cases of the coronavirus have been found in jail settings. At least six inmates and 41 staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Another 11 cases have been detected in the state prison system. At least two cases have been reported at the county's juvenile facility - both of those cases were confirmed to be staff members at the Barry Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar.
The number of institutional settings with at least one case of the coronavirus also increased on Wednesday to 155. At least 716 cases and 51 deaths have been detected at the institutions that include nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, shelters, jails, and prisons.
With new testing centers opening this week, Ferrer said the county's goal was to increase testing throughout the region with the eventual hope of testing at least 10,000 people everyday. With about 10% of people currently testing positive, that would mean the daily increase in cases would likely increase as well to around 1,000 per day.
The number of confirmed cases around the Southland include:
- Los Angeles County: 7,955 cases - 233 deaths
- Orange County: 1,016 cases - 17 deaths
- Riverside County: 1,179 cases - 32 deaths
- Ventura County: 263 cases - 7 deaths
- San Bernardino County: 641 cases - 20 deaths
- San Diego County: 1,530 cases - 36 deaths.
Statewide, there are more than 19,131 cases with at least 507 deaths reported. Health officials say there are more than 457,902 cases nationwide with the death toll reaching 16,292 by Thursday afternoon.