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LA County Coronavirus Cases Doubling Every 6 Days, With 1,000 Daily Cases Soon Possible

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Health officials reported Friday that the number of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County has risen to 4,566, with 89 total deaths from the disease.

Coronavirus Los Angeles
Security professional Jeremie Bright-Egwuatu sits at his post at the entrance to an emergency homeless shelter amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 2, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. His job requires him to search each person entering the shelter. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has thrust some workers onto the front lines of the pandemic. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

There were 521 new cases and 11 new deaths Friday, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced in an afternoon briefing.

Seven of those 11 who died were age 65 or older, all of whom had underlying health conditions. One person was between the ages of 18 and 40. That person also had underlying conditions.

So far, 78 percent of the COVID-19 deaths in the county have been people age 65 or older.

L.A. County had reported 534 new cases and 13 deaths on Thursday.

Ferrer noted Friday that – in the past two weeks – L.A. County has seen a doubling in cases every six days. She says this is down from a tripling of cases every four days. That dip, which she called "good news," is due to a uptick in testing capability.

More than 26,000 people in L.A. County have been tested so far.

"The last two weeks we've really seen more of a doubling of cases every six days, and that is good news," Ferrer said Friday. "I think as we increase capacity, however, we need to be really prepared for the fact that that is going to result in an increased number of people who are testing positive."

Ferrer emphasized that the county's goal is to test 10,000 people a day. If 10 percent of those are positive, then L.A. County should be prepared to seeing 1,000 new cases per day by as early as next week.

"I think that's very accurate, at some point next week, we will start reporting that big an increase in the number of cases," Ferrer said.

There are 541 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County, 347 of which are over age 55.

L.A. County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said the county currently has 1,627 open hospital beds, which include 286 ICU beds.

"The system has the capacity to treat covid-positive patients as well as others who might have a need for hospital-level of care," Ghaly said.

L.A. County is looking to increase the number of beds at its four county-owned hospitals "50 percent above its licensed bed capacity," Ghaly said.

There have now also been 321 cases reported at 67 "institutional settings" across the county, which include nursing homes, assistant living facilities, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, treatment centers and supporting living facilities. That is up from 54 institutional settings on Thursday.

Ferrer also disclosed that the number of cases among the homeless population was at seven Friday, down from nine the day before. Two of the nine had been incorrectly categorized as transients.

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