LOS ANGELES (CN) — Just five months after a global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization, Los Angeles County reported its 5,000th Covid-19 death on Tuesday.
One of the deaths reported Tuesday was a person under 29 years old, according to health officials.
“This is a reminder that the risk for all of us is real and that no matter how young you are, this virus can be deadly,” said LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in a statement.
Officials announced 63 new deaths in the last 24 hours in LA County, one day after officials said they were “cautiously optimistic” because of a decline in hospitalizations and the death rate. In total, 211,808 confirmed infections of Covid-19 and 5,057 deaths have been recorded in the county since the onset of the pandemic in early March.
“L.A. County has hit a tragic milestone today — more than 5,000 of our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers have died because of COVID-19,” Ferrer said. “This is heartbreaking and reminds us of the human toll of this pandemic. Our hearts go out to the many families that have lost a loved one to this pandemic.”
The death toll data in LA County has fluctuated in recent days with 19 deaths reported Monday, 10 reported Sunday. On Saturday, there were 51 deaths, according to the county health department.
More than half (60%) of all infections in the county are among people between the ages of 18–49. On Tuesday, health officials reported 1,440 new confirmed infections, but that data carries an asterisk due to a backlog with a state’s electronic laboratory system.
That likely has led to an undercounting in LA County and has prompted health officials to ask people who have received positive results to contact the county and self-report their test results to better track the spread of the virus. The backlog is expected to be cleared up later in the week.
In total, 1.9 million tests have been administered in LA County, with a daily average of around 18,000 tests per day. According to public health data, deaths are on a downward trend since late July. The highest mortality rate has been among Latino and Black residents. East of LA County, Riverside County reported 1,393 new infections and four new deaths, while nearby Orange County reported 1,051 new infections and 10 new deaths.