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Health Officials Say COVID-19 Cases Decreasing In People Experiencing Homelessness In LA County

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Department of Public Health Thursday reported 933 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 88 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,212,586 cases and 22,664 deaths.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Eligible people who were identified by homeless service agencies wait to receive the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at The L.A. Mission in Skid Row on {wdt} in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Of the new deaths reported, 25 people were over the age of 80, 30 people were between the ages of 65 and 79, 27 people were between the ages of 50 and 64 and five people were between the ages of 30 and 49. Pasadena reported one more death.

Public Health also reported that cases among people experiencing homelessness had dropped from a peak of 620 weekly cases in late December to just 58 new cases reported in the past week — including 48 cases from previous weeks that were newly identified.

To date, there have been 7,061 reported COVID-19 cases among people experiencing homelessness. Of those who contracted the virus, 197 died including 90 who were sheltered, 65 who were unsheltered and 39 whose status was unknown.

Health officials also reported that from March 1 through March 14, inspectors issued 112 citations to businesses including restaurants, family entertainment establishments, gyms and personal care salons for noncompliance with local health orders. Since the end of August, a total of 1,219 citations have been issued.

"If our COVID-19 transmission decreases, lives are saved, and we will be allowed to continue to open more businesses and ease activity specific restrictions in the future," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. "We all experienced what happens when public health safety measures are not followed closely.

"We have to avoid increases that can easily lead to more people suffering and take us backwards on our recovery journey," she continued.

There were 861 COVID-19 patients hospitalized Thursday, 26% of whom were being treated in intensive care units.

With testing results available for more than 5,984,000 individuals, the county's overall positivity rate was holding at 19%. The daily positivity rate was 1.8%.

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