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LA County Passes 400,000 COVID-19 Cases, Marking Grim Milestone

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County reached a grim milestone Monday as health officials reported 5,150 new cases, bringing the county's total to over 400,000.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday the county has "far surpassed" the surge in cases this summer as she reported the new cases along with 17 additional deaths.

The new numbers brought the county's total caseload to 400,919  and the death toll to 7,655.

"Six people who died are between the ages of 65 and 79 and five of the people in this age group had underlying health conditions. Two people who passed away are between the ages of 50 and 64 and one person in this age group had underlying health conditions," Ferrer said.

"One of the people who passed away was a resident at a skilled nursing facility," she said.

MORE: Newsom: CA To Receive 327,000 Doses Of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine By Mid-December

As of Monday, the number of county residents hospitalized with the virus rose to 2,185, and 24% of the people who are hospitalized are in the Intensive Care Unit. Ferrer said that the average daily hospitalization number has increased by 93% over the past two weeks.

"Although currently we have adequate capacity at our hospitals and have extensive plans in place to take appropriate actions to manage these huge increases, a continued surge in cases is just not sustainable," she said.

ICU capacity in Southern California as a whole is at 74%, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. If current trends continue, Southern California's ICU capacity could reach 107% by Dec. 24, Newsom said.

Ferrer noted that following Thanksgiving gatherings and travel, the county can expect to see an increase/decrease in cases in the next two weeks as well as an increase/decrease in hospitalizations by late December or early January.

To date, 3,734,055 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in L.A. County.

Dr. Ferrer also outlined the new temporary Safer-at-Home order which went into effect Monday.

The new health order bars all public and private gatherings with people of multiple households, except for constitutionally protected outdoor church services and protests. It also sets occupancy limits at various businesses, while also mandating face coverings and six feet of physical distancing.

The capacity limits are:

  • essential retail: 35% maximum occupancy;
  • nonessential retail (includes indoor malls): 20% maximum occupancy;
  • personal care services: 20% maximum occupancy;
  • libraries: 20% maximum occupancy;
  • fitness centers operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy;
  • museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy; and
  • mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy.

The order allows most outdoor recreational facilities to remain open, including beaches, trails and parks though face coverings are required.

Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks and community gardens, are also to remain open but use is restricted to a single household at a time.

Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane. Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.

Schools operating with limited numbers of students and day camps can remain open, adhering to reopening protocols. Schools and day camps with an outbreak, defined as three cases or more over 14 days, should close for 14 days. Card rooms are closed, as well as playgrounds, except for those at child care centers and schools.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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