Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of the L.A. County Department of Public Health

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, speaking during a coronavirus update.

The coronavirus death toll in Los Angeles County nearly doubled, reaching a total of 21, while another 421 cases were confirmed since Wednesday, public health officials reported today.

The sharp rise in cases to more than 1,200 was attributed to a significant increase in testing, but health officials warned that  the illness is spreading across the area.

"If there are 1,000 people that are positive and each one of those people infects two other people, if we don't curtail that spread, within a few weeks, there could be over a million people that would be infected in L.A. County," said Barbara Ferrer, head of the county Department of Public Health during a daily briefing this afternoon. "And if 20% of those people who are infected need some kind of hospital care, you can see why we're urging everyone to help us slow the spread."

Ferrer reported nine new deaths over the past 24 hours. No details were immediately available on the ages or locations of those who died.

Ferrer said the 421 new cases bring the county's overall total to 1,216. Early Thursday afternoon, however, Long Beach -- which operates its own health department -- reported an additional 13 cases, pushing the county total to 1,229.

Ferrer said the steep one-day spike was the result of additional testing and "catching up on backlogs" of delayed test results, but she said the virus is making an aggressive march across the county, highlighting the need to adhere to social distancing, isolation and quarantine requirements.

Eastside Cases

The latest update included a notable increase in cases in Echo Park and Silver Lake from Wednesday. Here are the other Eastside neighborhoods that we cover and the change since the previous health department update on March 25:

  • Boyle Heights: 7 (+2)
  • Eagle Rock: 3 (+1)
  • East Hollywood: 2 (+1)
  • East Los Angeles: 4 (+1)
  • Echo Park: 7 (+3)
  • Glassell Park: 2 (+1)
  • Highland Park: 3 (+1)
  • Lincoln Heights: 1
  • Los Feliz: 5 (+2)
  • Mt. Washington: 3 (+1)
  • Silver Lake: 11  (+5)

Health officials conceded the actual number of cases is higher given that only a relatively small -- albeit growing -- number of people have been tested.

Residents of the county -- and the entire state -- are under strict stay-at-home orders asking that people remain in their residence as much as possible, while avoiding any large gatherings.

On Wednesday, the county's health officer issued an order "that requires the self-isolation of any person that has tested positive for COVID-19 or is presumed by their physician or clinician to be positive for COVID-19," Ferrer said.

The order also requires a 14-day quarantine for all close contacts of a confirmed or presumed COVID-19 patient, including household members and caregivers.

Ferrer said Thursday that of the people who have tested positive in Los Angeles County, 1.6% have died -- a higher mortality rate than the flu. The rate is roughly on par with the national mortality rate from the coronavirus.

Ferrer has repeatedly stressed that the number of cases in the county is likely to continue rising due to the increasing availability of testing. As of Wednesday, about 9,400 people had been tested in the county, with about 10% turning out to be positive for the illness.

Locations of Confirmed Cases as of March 26

These figures are subject to change

  • Agoura Hills* 5
  • Alhambra 8
  • Altadena* 6
  • Arcadia 6
  • Arleta 2
  • Athens 3
  • Azusa* 1
  • Baldwin Hills 4
  • Bell 2
  • Bell Gardens* 3
  • Bellflower* 8
  • Beverly Hills 15
  • Beverlywood* 10
  • Boyle Heights 7
  • Brentwood* 42
  • Burbank 6
  • Calabasas* 5
  • Canoga Park 3
  • Canyon Country* 1
  • Carson* 21
  • Castaic 2
  • Century City* 9
  • Century Palms/Cove* 3
  • Cerritos* 2
  • Chatsworth 1
  • Claremont* 1
  • Cloverdale/Cochran* 3
  • Compton* 5
  • Covina* 4
  • Crenshaw District* 2
  • Crestview* 9
  • Culver City* 8
  • Del Rey 9
  • Diamond Bar 2
  • Downey 10
  • Downtown* 7
  • Duarte* 2
  • Eagle Rock 3
  • East Hollywood 2
  • East Los Angeles 4
  • Echo Park* 7
  • El Segundo* 2
  • Encino 21
  • Exposition Park 2
  • Florence* 7
  • Gardena 4
  • Glassell Park 2
  • Glendale 23
  • Glendora* 2
  • Granada Hills 8
  • Hacienda Heights 2
  • Hancock Park* 10
  • Harbor City* 1
  • Harbor Gateway* 3
  • Harvard Heights* 2
  • Hawthorne* 9
  • Highland Park 3
  • Hollywood 27
  • Hollywood Hills 17
  • Hyde Park* 1
  • Inglewood 12
  • Koreatown 7
  • La Canada Flintridge* 6
  • La Mirada* 5
  • La Puente 1
  • La Verne* 2
  • Lake Balboa 3
  • Lakewood* 7
  • Lancaster* 16
  • Lawndale* 2
  • Leimert Park* 2
  • Lincoln Heights 1
  • Little Bangladesh 1
  • Lomita* 12
  • Long Beach 54
  • Los Feliz* 5
  • Lynwood 6
  • Manhattan Beach* 21
  • Mar Vista 8
  • Maywood* 1
  • Melrose 47
  • Miracle Mile* 13
  • Monrovia* 2
  • Montebello 1
  • Monterey Park 4
  • Mt. Washington* 3
  • North Hills 1
  • North Hollywood 15
  • Northridge 4
  • Norwalk 9
  • Pacific Palisades* 12
  • Pacoima 1
  • Palmdale 2
  • Palms 10
  • Panorama City 4
  • Paramount 4
  • Park La Brea* 8
  • Pasadena 9
  • Pico 5
  • Pico Rivera 2
  • Playa Vista* 8
  • Pomona* 3
  • Porter Ranch 2
  • Rancho Palos Verdes 6
  • Redondo Beach 20
  • Reseda 8
  • San Dimas* 1
  • San Fernando* 3
  • San Gabriel 3
  • San Pedro* 5
  • Santa Clarita 16
  • Santa Monica 21
  • Santa Monica Mountains* 4
  • Sherman Oaks 17
  • Silverlake 11
  • South El Monte* 4
  • South Gate 4
  • South Park 2
  • South Pasadena* 4
  • South Whittier* 4
  • Stevenson Ranch* 3
  • Studio City* 11
  • Sun Valley 2
  • Sunland* 1
  • Sylmar 2
  • Tarzana 14
  • Temple* 6
  • Torrance 14
  • Tujunga* 2
  • University Park* 6
  • Valinda* 1
  • Valley Glen* 12
  • Van Nuys 4
  • Venice 11
  • Vermont Knolls* 3
  • Vermont Vista* 5
  • Vernon Central 1
  • Walnut* 1
  • Watts 1
  • West Adams 6
  • West Covina 4
  • West Hills* 4
  • West Hollywood 35
  • West Los Angeles* 5
  • West Vernon* 6
  • West Whittier/Los Nietos* 1
  • Westchester 7
  • Westlake 1
  • Westwood 11
  • Whittier* 3
  • Wholesale District 6
  • Willowbrook* 1
  • Wilmington 5
  • Wilshire Center 2
  • Winnetka* 5
  • Woodland Hills 13

141 cases are under investigation.

Locations with less than 25,000 residents were included in the nearest community or city. Here is more information about the breakdown of cases by community.

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