13 More Deaths from COVID-19 in L.A. County as Total Cases Rise to 4,045

Los Angeles County Public Health director Barbara Ferrer - Covid-19- Getty -2- H 2020
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The county’s case count has risen by another 1,000 over the past 48 hours, a figure that closely mirrors the previous frame.

Thirteen more people have died and additional 534 individuals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in L.A. County over the past 24 hours. 

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the county’s Department of Public Health, released the numbers during a Thursday afternoon press briefing held inside Board of Supervisors headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Of the 13 who passed away, 12 were over the age of 65 and 11 had underlying health conditions. As of today, 78 people have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, raising the county’s mortality rate from 1.8 to 1.9 percent.

The county’s case county has risen by 1,047 over the past 48 hours, a figure similar to the previous 48-hour frame. Currently, there are 4,045 positive cases across the county, bringing California’s total case count to 9,816 with 212 deaths. Ferrer also reported an increase in the number of cases among L.A. County’s homeless population, from five to nine cases as of today. 

Of the 4,045 cases, 241 individuals are currently hospitalized and 153 of those are aged 55 and over. Of the hospitalizations, 28 percent of patients are being treated in intensive care units. Five of those individuals are under the age of 35. “For those of you who are mourning family and friends,” Ferrer said, “We are deeply sorry and our thoughts and prayers are with you.” 

She also provided another update on the 54 investigations her team is overseeing at institutional settings where there is at least one known case, if not more. Those facilities are defined as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, shelters, treatment centers, jails, prisons and supportive living homes. Across the 54 sites, 299 people have tested positive, a figure that represents 175 residents and/or guests plus 114 staff members. At L.A. County jail, there are seven known cases including one inmate who is incarcerated. The rest are staff.

Ferrer instructed residents to continue to follow social-distancing guidelines, wear masks in public and hold tight for weeks to come. "These circumstances are unprecedented for our entire community, but we are all in this together. Please don't lose hope." 

She was joined at Thursday's press conference by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo who addressed families with children after the state announced Wednesday that school would not be resuming this school year. "This is not what anyone could have imagined," she said. "Not seeing seniors crossing the stage, cheered on by proud parents, families and friends." She sent a strong message to students that "learning will continue" virtually and that "instruction is not optional." The latter directive came after it was reported that tens of thousands of students had failed to check in for classes when schools migrated to virtual learning. "The peak has yet to come."