LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Testing is ramping up across Los Angeles County as officials reported two new deaths Monday linked to COVID-19.
County health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told reporters there were 128 new cases of coronavirus, plus two additional deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to seven people.
The total number of cases in the county is now 536.
In a renewed plea for social distancing, Ferrer said 42% of the patients are between the ages of 18 and 40, while 80% are between the ages of 18-65.
Also falling in line with repeated warnings by county and city officials again that the number of cases will
continue to increase as more testing becomes available. Ferrer noted that out of 4,700 of the people being tested in the county, about 10% are testing positive for the illness.
In a Monday evening news conference, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the launch of a website where Angelenos can sign up for COVID-19 testing.
Residents must answer a questionnaire to see if they qualify for testing, which Garcetti said is being reserved for those at highest risk of acquiring coronavirus.
Addressing the recent announcement by the White House authorizing the use of National Guard personnel to assist state and local agencies, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said troops will only arrive in the Southland if the sheriff makes an official request through the state Office of Emergency Services.
He said if used, Guard troops would serve in a "primarily humanitarian role" and assist food bank operations and transportation.
"The whole idea is to save lives," said Villanueva.
The sheriff also indicated such efforts would not be open-ended.
"This is a storm with a beginning and an end when the sun will come out," he said.
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