LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County officials have reported the highest number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations of the entire pandemic -- 2,216, surpassing the previous high of 2,193, which was set Wednesday.
In addition, there were 2,848 new coronavirus cases and 11 more deaths on Sunday, with 53% of the new cases occurring in people under the age of 41.
Of the 2,216 confirmed cases currently hospitalized, 26% are in theICU and 19% are on ventilators. Sunday was the fifth consecutive day that more than 2,100 people have been hospitalized.
The county has identified 155,887 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 4,095 deaths.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that are experiencing the sorrow of losing a loved to COVID-19 and with those who are caring for a loved one experiencing illness,'' said Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director.
“We continue to reach concerning milestones and today we are seeing the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Right now, young adults are being hospitalized at a rate not seen before. No matter how young you are, you are vulnerable to this virus. I urge everyone to take collective responsibility -- stay physically apart from people you don't live with, properly wear a face covering when you are outside your home but stay home as much as possible.''
Testing results are available for more than 1,515,000 individuals, with 10% testing positive. The cumulative positivity rate has increased from 9% to 10%. The majority of all cases have occurred in people under the age of 41, with 52% -- or 77,000 people -- younger than 41 years old infected with COVID-19.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday that the city of Los Angeles is “on the brink'' of issuing another stay-at-home order as coronavirus cases surge in the region, as he urged the public once again to guard against complacency amid the ongoing pandemic.
“I think a lot of people don't understand, mayors often have no control over what opens up and doesn't -- that's either at a state or county level, and I do agree that those things (reopening businesses) happened too quickly,'' Garcetti told CNN on Sunday.
“It's not just what's opened and closed, it's also about what we do individually. It's about the people who are getting together outside of their households,'' he said. “...They might think because they got a test two weeks ago it's OK, but it's not. This virus preys on our division, it preys when we get exhausted, it preys on us in those moments when we don't have a unified national front, or when we as individuals think `Oh, this ain't gonna be a big deal.' We have to be as vigilant right now as we were the first day.''
Garcetti said Friday that the city is teetering on the edge of a “red'' coronavirus alert level, which would trigger stricter local stay-at-home orders and potentially more business closures.
He also said attorneys will be dispatched Monday throughout Los Angeles to advise or cite businesses who have failed to comply with the city's COVID-19 guidelines.
“Starting on Monday, I'm announcing we are re-launching the Business Ambassadors Program that showed us so much success early on in this fight, sending out dozens of city workers who every day visit businesses, where we have a report of a problem and non-compliance,'' Garcetti said.
The program will led by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.
Ferrer and the L.A. County Health Officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, said businesses need to do more to protect workers, with Davis saying workplaces have seen sharp increases in virus transmissions.
Davis said inspectors over the past few months have been responding to 2,000 to 3,000 complaints a week about potential health protocol violations at workplaces.
Dozens of workplace outbreaks are under investigation, the largest of which continues to be at the Los Angeles Apparel garment-manufacturing facilities in South Los Angeles, Davis said. Health officials reported last week that 300 employees at the plant had tested positive for the coronavirus, and four people have died.
Davis said Thursday the number of confirmed cases at the facility had risen to 375 of the company's 2,290 employees.
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