L.A. County Reports 933 New COVID-19 Cases, But Fewer in Hospital

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County reported 933 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths today, bringing the county's totals to 274,565 cases and 6,647 fatalities.

The lower number of deaths reflected reporting delays over the weekend, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Hospitalizations in the county related to the coronavirus dropped from 698 Saturday to 673, with 28% of those people in intensive care. Officials said the county averaged 717 hospitalizations per day last week, the lowest number they've seen in six months.

However, daily case numbers continue to indicate there is still widespread community transmission.

And while not mentioning President Donald Trump by name, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Saturday that the outbreak in the nation's Capital should serve as a warning that the virus is still being actively transmitted.

"Our recovery journey depends on the decisions we each make every day about how to avoid transmitting the virus. We are witnessing firsthand in Washington D.C. how very easy it is for this virus to infect dozens of people in a very short time when individuals are not wearing face coverings, distancing and/or quarantining,'' she said.

"Weekends are typically a time where we go out and enjoy time outdoors; please remember to take all precautions, avoid crowds and proceed with the knowledge that each of us is capable at any moment of becoming infected and infecting others.''

Her comments come on the heels of nail salons being permitted to reopen indoors as of Thursday, and outdoor card rooms set to open Monday.

Indoor shopping malls will reopen Wednesday. The nail salons and indoor shopping malls will be limited to 25% of capacity, and mall food courts must remain closed.

Outdoor playgrounds can reopen at the discretion of individual cities, but everyone over age 2 must wear a face covering and adult supervision is required.

Health officials said they are still working with county attorneys to finalize plans for the resumption of outdoor beverage service -- with food sold by third-party providers -- at breweries and wineries. That process is expected to be "completed in a week,'' according to the county.

Schools that want to provide in-person instruction for students in pre-kindergarten through second-grade can submit applications to the county for waivers beginning Monday. Waivers will be limited to 30 schools per week, with priority given to campuses in the generally lowest-income areas.

Schools that are granted waivers will have to limit groups of students to no more than 12, and no more than two supervising adults in each classroom. Those teacher-student groups must remain together for the entire day "for all activities,'' according to the county.

Complete safety protocols for all reopening businesses will be posted on the county's website.

Health officials said Friday that two more cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, were also confirmed in the county, bringing the overall total to 40. The rare coronavirus-related syndrome causes inflammation of various organs. There have not been any deaths associated with MIS-C in the county.

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