L.A. County Reports 484 New COVID-19 Cases, 18 More Deaths


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County health officials this weekend announced 18 more deaths due to the coronavirus and 484 newly confirmed cases, bringing the county's totals to 31,677 cases and 1,530 fatalities.

“Each day, we report these numbers knowing that there are people who are grieving their loved ones who have passed away from COVID-19. To all of you, we are so deeply sorry for your loss,” Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director, said Sunday. “As we begin our recovery journey, we are grateful for all you have done to get us to this point. More than ever, we all need to continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, and to, most importantly, save lives.”

The latest numbers came as county residents celebrated Mother's Day with many restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus still in place, as others are slowly lifted. Hiking trails and parks were reopened Saturday, one day after the county allowed select retail businesses to reopen with curbside service.

All county beaches remain closed, but are tentatively slated to reopen Wednesday with restrictions on activities such as sunbathing, picnicking and volleyball, according to Nicole Mooradian, spokeswoman for the county's Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Water sports and active use of the beach such as running and walking along the shoreline will be allowed. Restrooms will be open, but parking lots will remain closed to discourage crowds, Mooradian said, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

An exception to the reopening of trails was the popular Runyon Canyon trail, which remains closed because it attracts crowds that are too large, officials said.

County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said staff were deployed to ensure people are adhering to social-distancing requirements, and all hikers over age 2 will be required to wear face coverings.

“They're (the sheriff's Parks Bureau) not doing anything out of the ordinary,” Deputy James Nagao of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Information Bureau told City News Service on Saturday. “The Parks Bureau is consistently patrolling Los Angeles County parks in an effort to make sure people are enjoying the park experience.”


Officials warned in easing some restrictions that the pandemic is far from over.

“If you are out and about this weekend, please take every precaution since anyone of us, even if we are not sick, could be infected with COVID-19 and capable of infecting others,” Ferrer said. “When outside your home, always stay six feet away from everyone and wear a cloth face covering securely over your nose and mouth if there are others near you. These actions are critically important as we begin the journey of recovery so that we don't find ourselves with large increases in hospitalizations and deaths that would require us to reinstitute restrictions.”

County parks officials urged residents not to visit trails if they are sick or exhibiting any sign of illness. People who do hike on the trails should do so only with members of their household, and hikers should bring water, hand-sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes, park officials said.

City and county golf courses also reopened with restrictions, but pro shops remain closed and golf course restaurants are restricted to carry-out service only.

County parks were originally expected to be closed for Mother's Day, but they remained open, although large gatherings were prohibited.

Long Beach will reopen its beach walking/bike paths Monday, although the beaches themselves will remain closed.

The number of Los Angeles Police Department employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 has risen to 108, while the Los Angeles Fire Department is reporting 27 cases, officials said this weekend.

Of the 108 cases in the police department, 45 have recovered and returned to full duty, one member is hospitalized, and all other individuals are self-isolating at home and recovering, according to Jessica Kellogg, public information officer for the city Emergency Operations Center.

Kellogg said 22 LAFD employees have recovered and returned to work, and there have been no hospitalizations. The remaining five employees are isolated and recovering at home, she said Saturday.

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