LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported 840 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and 45 additional deaths, bringing countywide totals to 242,521 cases and 5,829 deaths.
Health officials said the seven-day average of new cases — currently just under 1,300 — has steadily declined over the past month, though they said younger residents continued to make up the majority of positive new cases.
People under the age of 50 made up 70% of the new cases reported Tuesday, with 35% of cases reported in residents between the ages of 30 and 49 and 6% in children under the age of 11.
The news came as the L.A. County Board of Supervisors met behind closed doors to go over the state's new color-coded tier system, which gives guidance on which business sectors can reopen depending on local COVID-19 metrics.
Under the state's new guidance, L.A. County health officials can allow salons, barbershops and indoor malls to reopen with modifications — though officials said they wanted more time to review the guidance before making changes, causing anxiety for business owners.
"The fact of the matter is that we don't really have any sort of proof that our industry is the reason why COVID cases are rising, so the reality is that we've been doing what we've needed to do to keep people safe and healthy and we should be inside," George Hakopian, a barber, said.
Any changes to the county's public health order — including the possibility of allowing additional businesses to reopen — are expected to be announced Wednesday.
Of the new deaths reported, 16 were over the age of 80, 17 were between the ages of 65 and 79, 11 were between the ages of 50 and 64 and one was between the ages of 30 and 49. Forty of the newly reported deaths were people who had underlying conditions.
In total, 93% of all deaths attributed to COVID-19 in L.A. County were in people who had underlying conditions. When broken down by race, 51% of the deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 24% among white residents, 15% among Asian residents, 10% among Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents who identified with other races.
Health officials also reminded residents about the importance of not gathering with people who are not a part of their household.
"The following examples of in-person gatherings are not permitted, even if they feel safe: celebrating the new arrival of a baby with a baby shower or gender reveal party; having a barbecue with a group of friends in the backyard for Labor Day; hosting a study group with school students; having dinner with extended family and friends to honor the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur); gathering at the beach with friends over the hot weekend," the health department said. "These types of gatherings are risky as they bring together people who do not live together and increase the chances of community transmission."
As of Tuesday, 1,057 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, of which 33% were being treated in intensive care units.
With testing results available for 2,305,085 people, the county's overall positivity rate was holding steady at 10%.
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