Responding to a White House official’s call to investigate the Los Angeles area as an enduring coronavirus hotspot, local public health officials on Friday, May 21, said the region’s trendlines are “looking pretty good,” despite a mounting death toll.

That toll included another 35 residents on who have died after testing positive for the virus, officials announced Friday, pushing the county’s total to 2,049. The county also announced 1,072 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections so far to 43,052.

“We are deeply sorry,” said public health director Barbara Ferrer, adding that the dead and their families continue to be in her thoughts as she delivers the sobering daily tally.

The county’s daily update arrived on the heels of a press conference including Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s chief coronavirus coordinator. Birx pointed to Los Angeles as a region where the virus continues to spread while other areas in the nation report declines.

Birx said the L.A. metropolitan area, which includes Orange County, is a continuing problem, along with Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

“Even though Washington has remained closed, L.A. has remained closed, Chicago has remained closed, we still see these ongoing cases,” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Point to what she said was a “persistent high number of cases,” Brix said she asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate L.A. and the other cities to “really understand where are these new cases coming from and what do we need to do to prevent them in the future.”

Ferrer said CDC epidemiologist have for weeks been working with officials from L.A. County, which has shouldered much of California’s coronavirus burden, leading the state in deaths and cases.

“Our overall data points are looking pretty good,” she said, adding that the region’s hospitalization rate had fallen 15% and its death rate had fallen 12%.

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“We’re moving in the right direction,” she said.

Of Friday’s newly reported deaths in LA County, 25 were over the age of 65, 20 of whom had underlying health conditions; 5 were between the ages of 41 and 65, 3 of whom had underlying health conditions.

The mid-day report did not include updated totals for Long Beach and Pasadena, both of which operate their own health departments.

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Of all of the 1,898 people who have died in the county from coronavirus-related causes where race and ethnicity information was available, about 39% were Latino, 29% were white, 17% were Asian, 12% were African American, 1% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 1% identified as another race.

About 93% of people who have died after testing positive for COVID-19 have had underlying health conditions.

More than 412,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered in the county, …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News


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