The county now has 3,518 cases of coronavirus positive as public health officials work to speed up testing. The goal for next week is to run 10,000 tests a day and if the numbers continue, it could mean 1,000 new cases of newly diagnosed coronavirus a day across the county, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
Eleven others have died from COVID-19 disease in Los Angeles County, bringing the total number of deaths in the region to 65 to date.
Of those who died, nine were over 65 and only two had no underlying health problems. One person was between 18 and 40 years old and the other was between 41 and 65 years old; both of these people had underlying health issues. The death rate in L.A county remains constant at 1.8%. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the LA County Public Health Department, reported the latest figures at Wednesday’s press conference held downtown at the headquarters of the Board of Supervisors, where she was joined by the Chair of the Board of Directors Kathryn Barger and Dr. Christina Ghaly, Health Director of Services.
“Reporting these numbers every day is devastating, and I know it is more devastating for families and friends who have experienced this huge loss,” said Ferrer at the start of his remarks, which for days have been opening over an emotional feeling of gratitude for county leaders mixed with sympathy for the lives lost as residents face an unprecedented pandemic of historic proportions that has resulted in widespread closures of non-core business operations and an economy devastated. It also reported 513 new diagnosed cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases at the county level to 3,518 to date. She noted that over the past 48 hours, the number of cases has increased by more than 1,000.
As part of Wednesday’s briefing, public health officials clarified some previous numbers by erasing 11 cases from the previous count as these people were determined not to be residents of LA County Statewide, the Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that California currently has 8,155 confirmed cases of coronavirus positive and 1,855 of them are receiving care in public hospitals, 774 of these patients being treated in intensive care units, which shows the severity of the disease. “This disease can affect anyone,” he tweeted about the news. “Take this seriously. “
In L.A. County, 733 people who tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized at some point, representing 20% of cases. Public health officials closely monitored the homeless and prison populations and on Wednesday Ferrer reported that the county now has five positive cases of homeless people. None have died so far, and Ferrer said none of the five is known to be currently hospitalized. She also provided an update on the 43 surveys her team oversees in institutional settings where epidemics can be threatening, especially for populations most vulnerable to the disease, such as the elderly and those residing in narrow corridors. Ferrer defined institutional settings as places such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential treatment centers, homeless shelters, prisons, prisons and acute care facilities. According to Los Angeles Times, one of these facilities is a juvenile ward in Sylmar where a probation officer gave positive results, which led to the quarantine of 21 young detainees.
Ferrer also provided a test update, which remains a hot topic across the city with limited testing capacity and delayed results, which had an impact on the numbers. On Tuesday, she said, the city was able to perform more than 1,000 additional tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to 21,000, which corresponds to 12-13 percent of positive cases, based on the numbers. current. Ferrer said that by next week the county hopes to see a huge spike in the number of tests that laboratories can perform and that they draw 10,000 per day. If current statistics are valid, she said it could mean an additional 1,000 positive cases a day in L.A. County.
Regarding personal protective masks, Ferrer said new guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control show that even homemade masks made of cotton or attached with bandanas or scarves can help prevent droplets from forming. escape and potentially infect others. However, she said residents should not buy, order or use N95 medical grade masks as these should be used exclusively for healthcare workers and those on the front line. “If our health services have not [personal protective equipment] it is impossible to do their job and we are unable to get the health care we need, “said Ferrer, before adding that people can count on their own wealth. »The mask is not a shield and it does not replace the demand to stay at home and away and to use hand washing as a major way of not getting infected after touching yourself or something else. “
Once again, she was asked to provide a forecast for a peak in L.A. County and if she could predict a return to normal by May, June or even July. “I would be so happy if I was the one who could answer these questions,” said Ferrer with a smile. ” I can not. The only way we know when we are peaking is when it actually happens. She was able to provide specific thanks to essential workers who have stepped up to continue providing these services, to small business owners who have been affected, to the media for reporting with accuracy on the facts on coronaviruses and to “every resident of the LA County “which has helped slow the spread, even when it seems troublesome” or scary “. Ferrer added: “These are times in which we live and that we have never anticipated and never lived. The COVID-19 pandemic and orders to slow the spread are unprecedented. I want to thank everyone for their contribution. “