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LA County Urges Immediate Action As COVID-19 Cases Surge

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angles County Department of Public Health Monday reported 2,795 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and six new deaths, bringing countywide totals to 342,343 cases and 7,275 deaths.

Daily Life In Los Angeles Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 15: People wearing masks while shopping at the Hollywood Farmers Market on November 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Cities across the United States are adding restrictions--including mandatory mask wearing--due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic surge. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, the department reported a total of 6,841 new cases — 3,780 on Saturday and 3,061 on Sunday — numbers not seen in the county since late July.

"Given our recent huge increases in daily cases and now hospitalizations, it is clear that L.A. County is at a very dangerous point in the pandemic," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. "I ask every resident and business across the county to put slowing the spread of COVID-19 at the very top of mind, all day and every day. There is no path forward for our recovery until we get this pandemic back under control."

Health officials said younger residents were among those driving the surge in cases, with the case rate for residents age 18 to 29 more than doubling in the past month. The second highest group, those ages 30 to 49, has also nearly doubled in the past month.

But, despite the growing case rates in younger residents, officials said it was residents 80 years and older who were bearing the largest burden of serious illness.

Of the six new deaths reported Monday, three people who died were over the age of 80 years old and three were between the ages of 65 and 79. Five of those who died had underlying health conditions.

There were 1,049 people with COVID-19 hospitalized, 28% of whom were being treated in intensive care units. It is the highest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of September and is the second consecutive day with more than 1,000 hospitalizations.

RELATED: Statewide Curfew Possible As COVID Cases Spike; LA County To Consider Plan

Due to surges in case counts and hospitalizations, county officials urged residents to rethink their holiday plans and cancel any plans for travel outside the region in coming weeks; hold Thanksgiving celebrations outside if they involve people outside of a single household; stay home as much as possible for the next two to three weeks; wear masks in the home and maintain social distancing if living with those who are older or who have serious health conditions; and quarantine if positive or have been in close contact with someone who is positive.

On Monday, the state released its weekly update to each county's current status in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier framework.

"It is clear that statewide and in L.A. County, the numbers are alarming," the health department said in a statement.

In the past week, L.A. County's adjusted case rate has nearly doubled — from 7.7 per 100,000 residents to 13.7 per 100,000 residents. The county's positivity rate increased from 3.8% to 5.8%.

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