LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – There are now more than 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, health officials reported Thursday, with over 270 patients hospitalized.
In her Thursday afternoon briefing, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reported that there were 534 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the county's total to 4,045.
There were also 13 new fatalities, bringing the county's death toll to 78.
Ferrer said that 12 of the 13 who died were over the age of 65, and 11 of them had underlying health conditions.
As of Wednesday, more than 23,300 people in the county have been tested, with 13 percent coming up positive.
"I wanna note that I think that number is slightly inflated because we still have a couple of labs that are not giving us the number of negative tests they have processed," Ferrer said.
The mortality rate from the disease in L.A. County sits at 1.9 percent.
241 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County, 153 of whom are 55 and older. Two-thirds of them have no underlying health conditions.
28 percent of those hospitalized are in the ICU. Five people in the ICU are under the age of 35.
"While most significant death and serious illness does occur among people that who are older, and people with underlying health conditions, all people who get infected with COVID-19 at any age can have very serious illness," Ferrer noted.
Eleven people who died resided in skilled nursing or assisting living facilities.
At least one positive COVID-19 case has been confirmed in 54 different "institutional settings," which include nursing homes, assistant living facilities, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, treatment centers and supporting living facilities. That is up from 35 institutional settings Tuesday.
The total number of cases in institutional setting sits at 298.
The number of cases among the homeless population has risen to nine, up from five on Wednesday.
There are seven cases in L.A. County jails, which include six staff and an inmate. There are six positive cases among inmates at the California State Prison in Lancaster.
Ferrer also reemphasized that while people should consider wearing face coverings while out in public, they should refrain from using surgical and N95 masks due to the worldwide supply shortage.
"While the guidance is clear at this point that it's probably beneficial, if you're out and about -- if you're gonna be in contact with others as you get your essential services -- that you do put a covering over your mouth and your nose, you don't really need to use up the short supply of either surgical masks or, in particular, the N95 masks," Ferrer said.
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