LOS ANGELES –The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 15 new deaths and 663 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Eleven of the people who died had underlying health conditions and 10 people were over the age of 65. Two people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old and one person was between the age of 18 and 40 years old. One individual over the age of 65 who died did not have underlying health conditions. Two deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena. Over the last 48 hours, there have been 1374 new cases.
To date, Public Health has identified 5,940 cases across all areas of LA County, including 132 deaths. As of today, 1,257 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (21% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Testing capacity continues to increase in LA county, with almost 31,000 individuals tested and 14% of people testing positive.
Emerging evidence suggests that there may be a significant number of people infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic and capable of spreading the virus to others. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us we need to use universal precautions all the time – assuming that each of us can infect others even when we aren’t sick, and that others can infect us. Along with physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and remaining home when ill, the CDC and Public Health are recommending that the general public wear non-medical face coverings when interacting with others while obtaining essential supplies and services. N95 and surgical masks should only be used by healthcare workers, first responders, and those essential workers providing care for people who are ill.
“Each death represents a person, not just a number, and I am so sorry for every family member and loved one lost to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We have some very difficult days ahead and now is the time for all of us to redouble our physical distancing efforts and look after our neighbors, friends, and families who may be at the highest risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Seventy five percent of deaths occur among people 65 years of age and older, and 85% of deaths have been among people with underlying health conditions. If you are elderly, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant, please make sure you are staying home at all times and allowing others to shop for your essential goods. As we all work together to slow the spread, we need to also do our best to make sure our most vulnerable are supported so they can safely remain home.”
Public Health has issued the following guidance for people with mild illness during this time of increased spread:
- If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days and until 72 hours after being fever and symptom free. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant may be at higher risk of serious illness and should contact their doctor early if they are sick.