Health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 deaths in Los Angeles County on Sunday, marking 913 total deaths attributed to the disease as the number of detected infections approached 20,000, authorities said.
The Los County Department of Public Health also announced 440 new detected cases of COVID-19, bringing the county-wide tally to 19,528.
Sunday’s statistics follow 48 new deaths reported on Saturday and 52 on Friday. Although officials have warned in the past that reporting over weekends can lag behind.
“The most difficult part of the COVID-19 pandemic is losing people to the virus. To all of you who have lost loved ones, we are deeply sorry,” L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a written statement.
Of the new deaths reported on Sunday: “Thirteen people who died were over the age of 65; four people who died were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old; and one person who died was between the ages of 18 to 40 years old,” county health officials said in a written statement. “Fifteen people had underlying health conditions including 13 people over the age of 65 and two people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old.”
About 93% of 913 total patients who have succumbed to the virus in L.A. County suffered from underlying health conditions, officials said.
Just under 4,400 of the county’s positive patients, or 23%, have ended up in a hospital at some point during their illness.
Test results have been obtained for more than 117,000 individuals in L.A. County, with 14% of those tested receiving positive results.
Ferrer and other officials have expressed concerns that the virus is hitting minority and poverty-stricken communities especially hard.
“As we have more information about who is dying, we are reminded that the work ahead requires that we address issues of disproportionality that result in higher rates of death among African Americans, Latinx and Asians as well as residents living in poverty,” Ferrer said.
Racial and ethnic information was available for 837 of the county’s 913 reported deaths.
“African Americans continue to have the highest rate of death for COVID-19 when compared to other groups at 13 deaths per 100,000 people,” according to the Department of Public Health statement. “The mortality rate for Latinx is 9.5; for Asians, the rate is 7.5; and for Whites, the rate is 5.5.”
Data has shown that people living in “lower-income” communities are three times more likely to ultimately die from a COVID-19 infection than those who live in wealthier communities, according to health officials.
“Ensuring access to testing, early treatment and care, and economic support among those communities at higher risk of devastating outcomes associated with COVID-19, is essential,” Ferrer said.
Further details, including a list of COVID-18 cases by city, is available on the Department of Public Heath’s website.