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48 more coronavirus fatalities in LA County; death toll has doubled in a week

The county also identified 607 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, bringing the total tally since the public-health crisis began to 19,107.

Punctuating a week during which Los Angeles County’s death toll doubled, county health officials announced Saturday, April 25 that another 48 people died after testing positive for the coronavirus. The county’s death toll is now 895.

The county also identified 607 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, bringing the total tally since the public-health crisis began to 19,107.

Saturday’s mid-day announcement did not include updated totals for Long Beach and Pasadena, which operate their own health departments. Long Beach added 26 new cases on Saturday, bringing its total to 566. Long Beach officials did not add any  deaths to its total of 29; it announced two deaths on Friday, April 24. Pasadena had not updated its totals as of Saturday afternoon; as of Friday, the city reported 299 confirmed cases and 29 deaths .

Of the most recently reported deaths in the county, 38 people had underlying health conditions, including 30 people who were above age 65 and eight people between the ages of 41 and 65.

The county reported that of all of the people who have died from COVID-19, 37% were Latino, 28% were white, 18% were Asian, 14% were African American, 1% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 1% identified as other races.

“For those who are grieving loved ones lost to COVID-19,” the county’s Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement, “please know you are in our thoughts and prayers every day.”

As of Saturday, about 23% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized at some point. LA County has tested nearly 114,000 people for the virus, and 15% of those people have tested positive.

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms associated with the respiratory disease, which appear two-to-14 days after exposure, include fever, a cough and shortness of breath. While the virus poses a potential danger no matter a person’s age, most people — particularly healthy young adults — will experience mild symptoms; still, the disease can have severe symptoms and, as the rising death toll indicates, prove fatal, especially among the elderly and those with underlying health problems.

Saturday’s announcement came as a heatwave swept through the Southland.

Ferrer acknowledged that the weather might make people more inclined to head outdoors, but she said social distancing is still important to stem the further spread of the coronavirus.

“With this weekend’s high temperatures, I encourage everyone to take steps to stay cool while still practicing physical distancing and adhering to Safer at Home directives,” she said. “Enjoy the outdoors safely by taking walks by yourself or with your household members near your home and always remaining at least 6 feet apart from others.”

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