Daily Breeze

LA County reports 81 more coronavirus fatalities in deadliest day yet

The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 has more than doubled over the past week to 576.

Another 81 people in Los Angeles County have died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials announced Saturday, April 18, the highest single-day jump in fatalities to date.

The total number of deaths related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has more than doubled over the past week to 576.

The 81 deaths reported Saturday compared to daily counts this week ranging from a low of 25 on Monday to a high of 55 on Thursday.

Saturday’s tally included two Long Beach deaths and four Pasadena deaths that the cities, which both have their own health departments, reported Friday. It did not include one death Long Beach reported Saturday.

“Today marks a very sad milestone for our county,” LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “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.”‘

LA County also announced 642 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the overall total so far to 12,021.

Of all of those who have died, 89% had underlying health conditions. The county’s latest available data shows that about 36% of people who died were Latino, 29% were white, 17% were Asian, 16% were African American and 3% identified as another race.

So far, about 14% of people who have been tested for COVID-19 have tested positive. Of those who tested positive, about 27% have been hospitalized.

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 news came as the California Department of Public Health published a statewide list of skilled nursing facilities that have reported coronavirus cases as of Friday. In LA County, 148 facilities were identified on that list.

“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.”

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