Los Angeles County reported more than 40 additional deaths today due to the coronavirus, while the number of cases topped 58,000.
Meanwhile, California is seeing cases rise at a rapid clip as health experts warn of a potential second wave of the coronavirus as the economy reopens, it was reported today.
The latest deaths reported by L.A. County and separate city health departments increased the countywide total to 2,489.
The number of cases confirmed by laboratories since the pandemic began reached 58,267.
Some other figures from today's report:
• Underlying Health Conditions: As of today, 92% of the people who have died from the coronavirus in the county had underlying health conditions. That percentage has remained largely unchanged for weeks.
• Ethnic Breakdown: For the 2,301 fatalities for with ethnic information was available, 41% were Latino, 28% were white, 17% were Asian, 12% were black and 1% were Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
• Hospitalizations: Also as of today, 1,422 were hospitalized for treatment of COVID- 19, and 26% of those people were in intensive-care units. Since the pandemic began, 11% of people who have tested positive for the illness have required hospitalization at some point.
• Test Results: 46,000 people tested so far, and about 8% of them testing positive.
Protests & Coronavirus
Health officials and elected office-holders in Los Angeles County have expressed fear that crowded demonstrations stemming from the death of unarmed and unresisting George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody could serve as "super spreader" events and lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.
County officials urged people attending such demonstrations to wear face coverings and maintain distance from others whenever possible.
Many protesters seemed to be heeding her advice about wearing masks, but even peaceful crowds seen in videos were failing to maintain social distancing. Police officers forming lines to contain protesters also seem to be closer than six feet apart.
Any surge related to protests probably won't show up in the data until three or four weeks from now, given a 14-day incubation period for the coronavirus, health officials said.
Numbers may also increase as state and county authorities allow more businesses to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and personal care businesses such as salons and barbershops. Those enterprises are allowed to reopen as soon as they can implement the required protocols for social distancing and infection control.
California Cases Surge
Numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University show that California is one of about 20 states where new cases are increasing over the past five days, the Los Angeles Times reported.
An analysis by The Times shows that the number of weekly cases in California continues to rise, exceeding 17,000 last week for the first time in the pandemic. There were nearly 10,000 alone in Los Angeles County alone last week, according to the analysis. L.A. County and the Southland remain the California epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, but there have been some troubling increases in reported disease in some Bay Area counties.
Officials are not sure whether the new cases reflect a larger spike as the economy reopens or the result of increasing testing, or perhaps a combination of both, The Times reported.
"If we do see an uptick in cases in a couple of weeks from now, it will likely mean that there has already been two to four weeks of increasing transmission by that time," said Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of health services of L.A. County. "So at this point, we could be in the midst of a new upward curve, or transmission may not have increased at all. We just don't know yet."
The rise in cases comes as weekly hospitalizations and deaths are down statewide. There has been a 10 percent drop in the average number of people hospitalized daily with confirmed or suspected coronavirus infection last week compared to a month ago, from 4,859 on the week of April 27 to 4,392 last week.
Public Health has issued the following guidance for people with mild illness during this time of increased spread:
• Stay at home whenever possible and practice social distancing -- keep at least six-feet away from others when you leave your home.
• Wash your hands with soap and water as frequently as possible for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when water is not available.
• The general public should wear non-medical face coverings when interacting with others while. You should not purchase hospital-grade masks. People can use scarves or other fabric, suggesting that people go online for instructions on how to fashion a homemade mask.
• If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days and until 72 hours after being fever and symptom free. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick.
Additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website.