LA County Sees Single-Day Record for New Covid Infections

Sam Samusi, left, wears an N95 mask while waiting for his train at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

LOS ANGELES (CN) — Los Angeles County reported over 4,200 new Covid-19 infections Tuesday, carrying on a trend of thousands of cases reported daily and hospitals swelling with sick patients.

The surge that health officials prepared for earlier this year has arrived at last in LA County.

Over the past several days, LA County health officials reported between 2,500 and 3,000 new infections daily. But on Tuesday, that record was smashed with 4,244 new infections reported in the last 24 hours.

Officials also reported 73 new deaths on Tuesday.

LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer urged residents to wear face masks, wash their hands, stay at home as much as possible and avoid close contact with people who do not live in the same household.

“Today’s numbers are alarming and unfortunately are the result of many businesses and individuals not adhering to the basic public health requirements of distancing and wearing face coverings,” Ferrer said in a statement. “We are just not able to continue on a recovery journey without everyone doing their part.  Keeping businesses open is only possible if we get back to slowing the spread.”

So far 1.3 million tests have been administered in the county, of which 9% have come back positive according to health officials.

Hospitalizations are also up, with 2,103 people infected with the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 admitted, 27% of which are being treated in intensive care units. Of those in ICU, 19% are on ventilators to help them breathe according to health officials.

The alarming figures come one day after California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the near shutdown of 30 counties seeing an explosion of new confirmed infections and hospitalizations. That includes LA, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, San Diego, and Orange counties in Southern California.

Gyms, places of worship, offices for noncritical sectors, hair salons and indoor malls have been ordered closed in those 30 counties. Restaurants with indoor service, movie theaters and museums were closed statewide.

As more sectors of the LA economy began to reopen last month, health officials pumped the brakes as the rate of spread continued to grow. In early May, optimistic estimates aimed for a reopening of the LA economy by the Fourth of July but those prospects dissolved as swaths of the state continued to see rising infections moving into June.

LA County’s death toll stands at 3,894. In all, 140,307 people have been infected — a figure that includes the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own health departments.

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