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LA County Officials 'Extraordinarily Worried' About Coronavirus Spike At Nursing Homes

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Health officials in Los Angeles County Friday expressed grave concerns about the drastic increase in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths at nursing home facilities countywide.

Hayward, California Nursing Home Sees Cluster Of Coronavirus Cases
Adrina Rodriguez (L) talks with a nurse through a window as she visits her father who is a patient at the Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center that has tested negative for COVID-19 on April 14, 2020 in Hayward, California. The Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center remains open after a tenth patient died from COVID-19 complications. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There were 567 new coronavirus cases and 40 deaths reported across L.A. County Friday, bringing the county's death toll to 495, and its total number of cases to 11,391.

The coronavirus mortality rate is now at 4.3 percent, up from 4.2 percent on Thursday.

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L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer reported that there are now 2,183 positive cases of COVID-19 at 228 different "institutional settings," defined as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, treatment centers and supportive living facilities.

Of those, there are now 177 deaths from the disease, Ferrer said, primarily in skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Ferrer disclosed that there are 20 nursing homes and assisted living facilities countywide in which at least 20 residents have tested positive for coronavirus. Of those, there are four homes in which at least 40 residents have tested positive.

"We are extraordinarily worried about the outbreaks that continue to happen across the many institutional settings," Ferrer said bluntly.

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As of Friday, 1,624 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in L.A. County. 33 percent were in ICU beds and 20 percent were on ventilators.

26 percent of all positive cases have resulted in some form of hospitalization.

At least 74,000 people have been tested in the county, with 14 percent returning positive for COVID-19.

Of the county's 495 deaths, there are 425 in which race or ethnicity has been identified: 16 percent of the victims were African-American, 18 percent were Asian, 34 percent were Latinx and 29 percent were white.

Ferrer again addressed the alarmingly high death rate among African-Americans.

"I want you to know that we're working hard with our community partners to respond to the disproportionate number of deaths that we continue to see among African Americans," she said.

Of the 40 new deaths reported Friday, 28 of the people were over age 65 and eight were between the ages of 41 and 65.

One person was between the ages of 18 and 40. That victim had underlying health conditions.

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