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LA County Coronavirus Deaths Reach New Daily High With 55; Mortality Rate Crosses 4 Percent

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County saw its deadliest day since the coronavirus pandemic began, with a staggering 55 deaths reported Thursday.

Daily Life In Los Angeles Amid Coronavirus Outbreak on April 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The total number of deaths from the coronavirus is now at 455, L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer reported.

The mortality rate has risen to 4.2 percent, up from 3.8 percent on Wednesday.

Of the 55 victims, 43 were over the age of 65. Of those, 39 had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.

Nine were between the ages of 41 and 65, all of whom had underlying conditions.

L.A. County saw 399 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing its total to 10,844.

So far, more than 70,000 people in the county have been tested, with 11 percent registering as positive for the disease.

Ferrer addressed why the death rate is continuing to rise even though the daily number of new cases has remained stable.

"Sometime people can be in the hospital for a few days before they actually pass away," Ferrer said. "And so one of the things that we're seeing is the possibility that people are actually in the hospital, and then they go ahead and die at a later date. We're not the only city to see this lag. New York City has the same phenomena. And the same thing was experienced, I believe, up in Seattle's King County."

There are currently 1,587 people hospitalized countywide. 32 percent are in the ICU and 22 percent are on ventilators. 26 percent of all coronavirus patients have at some point required hospitalization, Ferrer said.

There are 1,963 coronavirus cases across 209 L.A. County "institutional settings," which include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, treatment centers and supporting living facilities.

158 residents in institutional settings have died of coronavirus, which consists of 35 percent of all deaths, Ferrer said. Most of those deaths are in skilled nursing homes, with a small number in assisted living facilities.

There have been 71 coronavirus cases so far in L.A. County jail facilities and another 50 cases at Lancaster State Prison.

One staff member at a federal prison in L.A. County has died of COVID-19, Ferrer announced Thursday.

There are 33 coronavirus cases among the county's homeless population, 26 of which are unsheltered people. Seven homeless people at six different shelters have also tested positive.

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