Coronavirus lab testing

Microbiologist extracts COVID-19 genetic material from patient samples in the Public Health Laboratory. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health conducts Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 on March 19, 2020. 

COVID-19 continued to put pressure on the Los Angeles County hospital system, with the number of patients continuing its upward march as the county today confirmed another 2,000-plus cases.

Public health officials have warned that the spiking numbers of coronavirus cases could cause the county to run out of hospital beds in the next two to three weeks, and out of intensive care unit beds potentially sooner.

As of today, the county was reporting 1,783 people in hospitals due to the virus, continuing an upward trend that has seen the number jump by more than 400 over the past month.

The latest figures lifted the countywide total to 103,850 cases. Meanwhile new deaths gave the county an overall total of 3,371.

The increasing short-term positivity rate has been on the rise, raising further concerns in the county about spiking numbers and the possibility of an overwhelmed health system. The seven-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.4% as of Monday.

County public health department chief Barbara Ferrer said one Los Angeles business was shut down over the weekend because more than 150 people were found to have tested positive.

She did not name the business, but statistics posted on the county's website confirm the business was LA Apparel, which has three adjacent factories on 59th Street in South Los Angeles. According to the county, there were 23 confirmed virus cases at one of the facilities, 61 at another and 67 at the third.

The company's owner told NBC4 Tuesday he was working to get the business reopened.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has ordered all bars closed in Los Angeles County, hinted today that more statewide restrictions could be on tap in an effort to prevent an explosion of virus cases over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. He also said he may announce stepped-up enforcement of the state's requirement that people wear masks while in public.

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