LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County reported its highest number of daily new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with 1,843 cases since the day prior, along with 27 additional deaths. The county's totals now stand at 47,822 cases and 2,143 deaths.
"Although this is the highest number of new cases reported in a day, some of these cases are from a backlog of test results," Public Health wrote in a press release.
Twenty people who died were over the age of 65 years old; six people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Seventeen people had underlying health conditions including 11 people over the age of 65 years old and six people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old.
The Los Angeles County Public Health Department lists the race and ethnicity data associated with COVID-19 deaths on its website.
Approximately 93% of all county residents who died from the virus had underlying health conditions. County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said this emphasizes the county's need to protect those with underlying health conditions and urges those residents to stay at home as much as possible.
She said this includes, but is not limited to, individuals with asthma, those who have had cancer, anyone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and anyone who is immune-compromised.
"If you're part of one of these groups, you need to take every precaution imaginable to protect yourself from COVID-19," said Ferrer.
According to Public Health, 6,195 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 at some point required hospitalization during their battle with the illness. There are 1,443 individuals currently hospitalized in the county with the virus, Ferrer said.
Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for over 514,000 individuals and 8% of those people testing positive.
While LA County officials have not released data on the number of COVID-19 patients that have recovered from the virus within the county, John's Hopkins University reports that more than 379,000 patients have recovered nationwide.
Two weeks ago, the county announced a new "Safer-at-Home" health officer order, which has no definitive end date but does allow some additional businesses and outdoor spaces to reopen, with restrictions.
"While the Safer at Home orders will remain in place over the next few months, restrictions will be gradually relaxed under our 5-stage Roadmap to Recovery, while making sure we are keeping our communities as safe as possible during this pandemic," said Ferrer.
The county also recently reopened its beaches for active-use, but residents are required to wear masks unless they are in the water.
Under the new order, all county residents are required to wear face coverings when they are around other people, including any time they enter an essential business or interact with employees for curbside pickup. Face coverings are also required to be worn at all times on county-operated hiking trails.
Public Health said that based on new guidance from the CDC, they are now requiring anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate for 10 days and 72 hours after fever and symptoms subside.
"New evidence suggests it may take longer for the virus to shed, which means that an infected person may be able to infect other people for a longer period of time than was initially thought," Public Health wrote in a news release. "This means you must stay home until your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) for at least three days (72 hours) after recovery, AND at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared or you were tested."
Public Health continues to stress to the public that while a majority of those who have died from COVID-19 in the county had underlying health conditions, not everyone does. Residents are urged to continue to take the necessary precautions in order to protect themselves from the virus.
Health officials say that social distancing remains our best defense against the virus, and all residents are instructed to abide by current measures in place across the state. Social distancing is not only about preventing the illness itself, but rather, slowing the rate at which people get sick.
On April 3, the CDC announced that it would be recommending people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
The use of face coverings is believed to help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus, without knowing it, from transmitting it to others.
This comes as more evidence is emerging that coronavirus infections are being spread by people who have no clear symptoms. In early April, the CDC changed how it was defining risk of infection for Americans, saying anyone may be a considered a carrier, whether they have symptoms or not.
In accordance with new guidelines from the CDC, Public Health said that anyone who begins to experience symptoms must contact those they were in contact with up to 48 hours prior to having symptoms in order for them to self-isolate.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should call their healthcare provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
Click here for a list of locations of confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County.
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