With 81 new coronavirus-related deaths reported in Los Angeles County Saturday, officials said the death toll from the respiratory illness has more than doubled over the past week.
The county’s latest deaths mark the highest single-day spike in fatalities and double the number of deaths reported the day before.
This brings the county’s total number of deaths up to 576, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. That’s up from 265 deaths one week ago.
“Today marks a very sad milestone for our County, we are reporting the highest number of COVID-19 deaths for any one day since the beginning of the pandemic, and our deepest condolences go out to each and every person grieving the loss of their loved ones,” the county’s public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a written statement.
Officials also reported another 642 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total up to 12,021 in the nation’s most populous county.
About 89% of those who died in L.A. County had underlying health conditions. And as of Saturday, 3,280 people who tested positive for COVID-19, 27% of all cases, have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.
The county’s nursing homes have been particularly hit hard during the pandemic.
A list released by the California Department of Public Health names 148 nursing facilities in L.A. County with at least one COVID-19 case.
The Brier Oak on Sunset nursing facility in East Hollywood, with 80 residents and 62 staff who have tested positive for the coronavirus, is one of the most badly affected facilities in the state, according to the agency’s data.
“We are especially concerned about the overwhelming number of residents residing in our nursing homes who have passed away,” Ferrer said. “I have requested additional support from our state and federal partners so we can work together to ensure that our nursing homes are as safe as possible for residents and employees.”
Ferrer said she asked for supplementary staffing and protective gear, increased ability to test residents and employees and improvements in infection control at nursing homes.
Over 76,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus so far in the county, and 14% of them have tested positive.