L.A. County Reports Coronavirus Death Count, Airbnb Partnership to Aid Health Care Workers and First Responders

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Los Angeles

"L.A. County workers will have access to free space through Airbnb and HotelTonight, so they can be close to their patients and safely distance from their families," County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger said in Friday's briefing.

Los Angeles County on Friday recorded 40 more fatalities and 567 newly diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus.

L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced the new coronavirus numbers during her daily briefing held downtown at the Board of Supervisors headquarters. A total of 495 county residents have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, as the total number of positive cases tops 11,391. The national figure for cases is over 684,000, with a death count reaching over 34,000. 

Ferrer also reminded L.A. County citizens of new guidelines that are in effect regarding face coverings. Those working around others and the public and those visiting essential businesses are required to wear face coverings at all times. 

County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger also shared a new partnership with Airbnb in coordination with the city of Los Angeles and L.A. County. 

"Today, I am excited to announce a new partnership with Airbnb to provide much-needed relief to our heroes on the front lines," she said. "Los Angeles County in coordination with the City of Los Angeles is partnering with Airbnb to provide free housing to up to 1,000 front line workers fighting the spread of COVID-19.

"L.A. County workers will have access to free space through Airbnb and HotelTonight, so they can be close to their patients and safely distance from their families."

Added Barger, "Community members can get involved by donating funds or getting their property approved for front line workers to stay. Healthcare workers and first responders can book their stay and community members can learn more by going to airbnb.com/covid19relief."

Back to the numbers: Ferrer said that of the 425 deaths reported in L.A. County for which ethnic data was available, 16 percent were African American, 18 percent Asian, 34 percent Latinx, 29 percent white and three percent identified as another race. 

The number of institutional investigations has continued to rise, now reaching 228 facilities, such as nursing homes, treatment centers, correctional facilities and so on, all of which have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. Across those, there are 2,183 confirmed cases and 177 deaths.

"Each day I am inspired by all of you who are continuing to do your part to slow the spread of COVD-19," Ferrer said at the end of her briefing. "In this challenging time, so many of you have shown courage, good will and compassion as all of our lives have changed. We’ve all been effected in very different ways. These times are tough, but I know that they're temporary. We’re in this together ... by working together, we're making it possible to get to the other side."

Meanwhile, Dr. Clayton Kazan, chief medical officer of the L.A. County Fire Department, gave an update on testing site availability, noting there are now 30 drive-up mobile testing sites across the county. 

"Testing capacity that we’ve been able to bring to L.A. County rivals the capacity of virtually any country in the world," he shared. "While we knew that we would not be able to put a center on every corner or in every city, we have achieved the point where testing is accessible to the vast majority of our cities."

To find out if one qualifies for testing, visit covid19.lacounty.gov