The number of COVID-19 deaths increased by 51, health officials in Los Angeles County reported today. That brings the county's death toll to 1,709, with the vast majority of deaths belonging to those with underlying health conditions.
Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health, stressed the lethal nature of the coronavirus, calling it vastly more deadly than the flu.
"Last year, 125 people died from influenza, and the year before, about 300 people died,'' Ferrer said. "On average, we lose about 250 lives to influenza every year, and you can understand why the mortality rate of COVID-19 is so worrisome, because it far exceeds what we're normally used to seeing with a virus or a communicable disease.''
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's Director of Public Health also confirmed another 925 cases of the coronavirus in L.A. County, bringing the countywide total to 35,329.
Dr. Ferrer also talked about the importance of social distancing to help curb the spread of the virus, even as a new Health Order was issued yesterday that allowed retailers, manufacturers, some recreational facilities and beaches to reopen.
“Enjoying our beautiful community and outdoor areas is one of the many wonderful things about living here in LA County, and our businesses and County Departments are working hard to put protocols into place so that these spaces can reopen safely," Dr. Ferrer said Thursday afternoon. "We will all need to closely follow the rules, including practicing physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings at all times, so that we don't end up with significant increases in hospitalizations and deaths."
Health officials say L.A. County is currently in stage two of a five-stage "Roadmap to Recovery" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of confirmed cases around Southern California include:
- Los Angeles County: 35,329 cases - 1,709 deaths
- Orange County: 3,968 cases - 80 deaths
- Riverside County: 5,343 cases - 228 deaths
- Ventura County: 725 cases - 24 deaths
- San Bernardino County: 3,153 cases - 138 deaths
- San Diego County: 5,278 cases - 194 deaths
Statewide, there are more than 73,174 cases with at least 2,974 deaths reported. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 1,401,948 cases nationwide with the death toll reaching 85,066 by Thursday afternoon.
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