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LA County Reports 1,777 New Coronavirus Cases, 50 Deaths; Health Officials Warn Non-Essential Businesses Might Close Again

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 1,777 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and 50 more fatalities Thursday, bringing countywide totals to 124,738 cases and 3,689 deaths.

U.S. Struggles With Coronavirus Amid A Surge Of New Cases
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 07: A testing associate dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) helps people waiting in line to check in at a COVID-19 testing center at Lincoln Park amid the coronavirus pandemic on July 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. There has been a spike in new coronavirus cases in California along with an increase in the overall positivity rate and number of hospitalizations. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Officials also reported 2,037 people were hospitalized with the illness, 26% of whom were being treated in intensive care units and 17% were on ventilators — substantially higher than the 1,350-1,450 daily hospitalizations reported four weeks ago.

Because of the sharp increases in cases and hospitalizations, county public health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the county will shut down all non-essential businesses again if it comes to that — though she said she hopes it doesn't.

"Nothing can be off the table in the pandemic," she said. "But I, personally, I hope we don't have to go back there. I hope that we figure out a way to take care of each other, to be sensible about what we're doing.

With testing results available for more than 1.2 million Angelenos, the daily positivity rate was 9.2%.

"We continue to see increased community spread and we need our businesses and residents to support our community on this recovery journey," Ferrer said in a statement. "We ask everyone to continue to stay home as much as possible, to stay physically distant from people you don't live with and to observe all the critical infection control precautions in place – wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, wash your hands and avoid crowds and confined spaces."

Health officials also said the data continued to show disparities in health outcomes by race, ethnicity and income level.

Latinx people were more than twice as likely to contract the virus and were also twice as likely to die from the virus than White people. African American and Black people were 27% more likely to contract the virus and almost twice as likely to die compared to White people, according to the health department.

Furthermore, the department said, communities with high levels of poverty continued to see almost three times more cases than communities with little to no poverty, and those experiencing high levels of poverty were four times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those living in communities with low levels of poverty.

Residents were asked to stay home as much as possible, especially if they are older or have underlying health conditions, only going out for essential trips such as work, groceries and seeking medical care.

"This is especially important as we go into another beautiful summer weekend," Ferrer said.

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