As California passes 100,000 cases and retail businesses begin reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, L.A. County health officials announced another 53 deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the county's death toll to 2,195.
Ninety-three percent of people who have died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions, health officials say.
At least 53% of the county's deaths from the virus have occurred in institutional settings, the vast majority of those at skilled nursing facilities. Ferrer said despite the continuing fatalities at such facilities, the rate of daily deaths has actually been decreasing in recent weeks.
"As of yesterday (Tuesday), there was an average of seven deaths per day, which is still tragic, but this compares to an average of 21 deaths per day one week ago and 25 deaths per day three weeks ago,'' Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's Director of Public Health said. ``We have a long way to go, but I really want to thank everybody who's been so helpful in making sure that we get on a path that protects both the employees and the residents in these facilities.''
Another 933 cases of the coronavirus were also reported by health officials, bringing the countywide total up to 48,700.
Ferrer also reminded residents that people should wear cloth face coverings and maintain a six-foot distance from others when interacting with the public even as more businesses in L.A. are reopened for business.
"There is a lot at stake as we reopen,'' Ferrer said. "More people being around one another can result in more transmission of COVID-19, which is more cases and likely more hospitalizations and deaths. This is why it couldn't be more important for us to take care of each other when we're out of our homes.''
Ferrer added that anyone feeling sick or ill should isolate at home, and anyone who has been exposed to a confirmed patient should quarantine themselves.
“For all of you who have lost someone you love to COVID-19, we are so sorry. Through this sad and difficult time, we keep you in our thoughts and prayers every day,” said Ferrer. “The new Health Officer Order allows more sectors to reopen, adhering to strict distancing and infection control directives. Since none of us wants the recovery to lead to many more deaths, we need to do our part to take care of each other. This means being diligent about physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings whenever you are around people who are not from your household. These are our essential tools and we need to commit to always using them.”
The number of confirmed cases around Southern California include:
- Los Angeles County: 48,700 cases - 2,195 deaths
- Orange County: 5,646 cases - 136 deaths
- Riverside County: 7,139 cases - 303 deaths
- Ventura County: 1,017 cases - 32 deaths
- San Bernardino County: 4,567 cases - 176 deaths
- San Diego County: 6,882 cases - 249 deaths
Statewide, there are more than 100,146 cases with at least 3,838 deaths reported. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 1,694,599 cases nationwide with the death toll reaching 9,983 by Wednesday afternoon.