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46 New Coronavirus Deaths In LA County; Cases Pass 15,000-Mark

There were 1,400 new cases Tuesday, the high number due to a reporting backlog from commercial labs.

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The total number of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County crossed the 15,000-mark Tuesday as health officials reported another 1,400 new cases, the high number due to a reporting backlog for the second day in a row.

Nurses employed at Providence Saint John’s Hospital and their supporters participate in a car caravan in Santa Monica, California on April 21, 2020. The demonstrators were demanding the return of 10 registered nurses who were suspended for requesting personal protective equipment (PPE) while treating COVID-19 patients. (Getty Images)

L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced that there were another 46 deaths over the past 24 hours, raising the county’s death toll from the virus to 663.

At least 15,140 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in L.A County.

Of the new deaths, 33 of the victims were over the age of 65, four were between the ages of 41 and 65, and two were between the ages of 18 and 40.

Of the two fatalities in the youngest age group, one person had underlying health conditions.

So far, 89 percent of people who have died of coronavirus in the county have had underlying conditions.

The high number of new cases Tuesday was due to a backlog of reporting from commercial laboratories. Of those 1,400, only 520 were from the past 24 hours, with the other 880 from the backlog.

This comes after 1,491 new cases were reported Monday for the same reason.

1,739 people are currently hospitalized with coronavirus in L.A. County. 31 percent of those are in ICU beds and 18 percent are on ventilators.

Meanwhile, 200 people were tested last week at the Union Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter in downtown L.A.’s Skid Row, Ferrer reported Tuesday. 43 of them came back positive for the disease. Of those, 16 people were symptomatic and 27 were asymptomatic.

In response, the mission has quarantined everyone at the site and is admitting no new guests.

“Staff and guests that are remaining on site are being asked to practice physical distancing and to wear their cloth face coverings,” Ferrer said

Over the past few weeks, 184 people who were staying at the mission have been moved to hotels and motels, Ferrer added.

There are also 2,913 coronavirus cases at 269 different “institutional settings,” which are defined as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, treatment centers and supporting living facilities. .

255 residents at those facilities have died, the majority of whom lived in nursing homes. Those deaths account for 38 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.

In response, the county is working to ramp up testing at nursing homes.

“We’re working this week to increase our capacity to offer COVID-19 testing at institutional settings without breaks,” Ferrer said. “This would include being able to test, where appropriate, both symptomatic and asymptomatic residents and staff.”