LA County Milestone: 200,000 Coronavirus Cases

A woman and girl take a coronavirus test together in Los Angeles on July 22. California has stopped updating a list of counties facing more restrictions on businesses and schools after a problem in the state’s coronavirus testing database has led to an undercount. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

LOS ANGELES (CN) — Los Angeles County may have passed the 200,000 mark for confirmed cases of Covid-19 among its 10 million residents this week, but due to a backlog with a state reporting system it was only confirmed Thursday.

LA County Public Health officials announced 3,290 new confirmed cases of the virus and 48 new deaths. In total, 201,106 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus that causes the deadly Covid-19 disease. Of those, 4,869 people are dead.

The grim milestone in LA County comes as neighboring Orange County announced a record-breaking day with 32 deaths and 580 new confirmed cases. That county’s positive case data is also marred by delays with the CalREDIE Electronic Laboratory Reporting system.

LA County reported 1.8 million tests have been administered with a 10% positivity rate. The severity of the backlog is unclear, said LA County Health Officer Muntu Davis on Thursday.

Health orders prohibit large gatherings, but that has not sunk in with everyone as several parties have cast a spotlight on LA County, including a large gathering in a Mulholland Drive mansion and a supposed private party for first responders at a Hollywood bar.

“This should not be considered that this is going to be a permanent event, that we won’t ever be able to get back to gathering at some point,” said Davis. “But right now, we really have to keep to the recommendations in order to ensure that the cases continue to drop and the community transmission is at a much, much lower rate.”

Health officials say they’re responding to over 20,000 complaints of restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses that are not complying with the health officer’s order. According to LA County Public Health Department, 27 restaurants and 76 other businesses — including seven gyms — have been closed for not complying with the health order.

Hospitalizations are down from an average of 2,200 patients in mid-July to 1,741 on Thursday according to health officials. Of those hospitalized, 29% are in the ICU.

Low-income residents and Latino and Black populations are seeing higher rates of infections and deaths. People who live in high-poverty neighborhoods die at four times the rate of those living in neighborhoods with the highest income levels.

LA County continues to lead in confirmed infections throughout the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University data tracker.

Thursday’s update pushes that lead even further.

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