Mark McDermott

Coronavirus cases rise to 24 in the South Bay and 291 in LA County

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Map of Coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County. Source: Los Angeles County Department of Health

by Mark McDermott 

Cases of the novel coronavirus rose to 24 in the South Bay, according to data released by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department on Friday. All totaled, there were 62 new cases confirmed across LA County, bringing the total to 291. This was the largest single-day increase countywide since the outbreak began and marked 101 new cases in 48 hours. 

At Friday’s daily press conference, Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Public Health Department, was blunt in her assessment. Ferrer said that a spike of cases is expected. She said the County is preparing for numbers similar to New York City, which has a population of 8 million and is reporting as many as 2,000 new cases a day.  LA County has a population of 10 million people. 

“When we look across at what is happening in Europe now and other cities across the United States, particularly New York City, we know we need to be prepared for many more cases,” Ferrer said. 

“My team is preparing for management of a situation where we too might see 2,000 in one day,” she said. “In those situations, you do tend to have a lot of clustering, and where clustering is happening in vulnerable institional settings, we too need to be prepared to rapidly be able to test those people.” 

The new cases for the South Bay included the first COVID-19 cases in El Segundo, Lawndale, and Redondo Beach. Manhattan Beach continues to have the most cases locally, with one new case increasing its total to six. Lomita has 5 cases, Carson 3, and Hawthorne, Inglewood, and Torrance 2 each. Gardena also has a single confirmed case. 

“We will start to see cases pretty much everywhere in all of our communities which is why it’s so essential that we do as much as we can to reduce our exposure, and exposing others,” Ferrer said. 

County officials have taken pains to get across the point that younger people, though less likely to die from COVID-19, are more likely to be carriers and thus infect others who are more vulnerable. Ferrer said the average age of those have tested positive in LA County is 47. 

“There are 138 people between ages 18 and 65 that were diagnosed as positive with COVID-19,” she said. “I am going to try to present this data so that everyone can understand that the risk is spread across everybody who lives here in LA County. Younger people, while they may have a better outcome if they are healthy, are in fact one of the largest groups of people that we have tested who are positive for COVID-19. Even if you are positive and you have mild illness, you can expose others, and that is something we want to avoid doing.” 

Ferrer said 2,400 people had been tested in LA County and ten percent of those tested were positive for COVID-19. She echoed projections released by Governor Gavin Newsom the previous evening that 56 percent of the state’s residents would become infected. 

“Please assume that COVID-19 is widespread and that even without being tested, you may still be infected, and you still may be around others who are infected,” she said. “That means that you may expose someone and you may be exposed to someone. While testing may help identify for people that are symptomatic that in fact their symptoms are caused by COVID-19, and that opens the door to the possibility of certain treatment options. For people who test negative, that only gives you an assurance for one moment in time,” Ferrer said. “You can be negative today and positive tomorrow.” 

The City of Manhattan Beach on Saturday put out a notice  about a privately planned COVID-19 testing event which was to take place on Sunday in the Kinecta Credit Union parking lot. The event organizers have notified the city that the event has been cancelled. 

Ferrer earlier in the week suggested people be prepared for strict social distancing measures to be in place three to four weeks. Her projected timeline has steadily increased as more worldwide data has been examined. 

“Based on what we are seeing in other parts of the world and now other parts our country is that this going to last at least 4 to 8 more weeks,” Ferrer said Friday. “And I would suggest that people be prepared for this to go on for much longer. It’s not that we know for certain that it will go on for much longer, but the name of the game right now is preparedness.” 

“The more we can prepare for what may be a significant restriction on what we do with each other and particularly what we do with each other in large groups, I think the better we are going ot be able to handle whatever comes,” Ferrer said. “What I do know is where social distancing has been done and done well and where public health departments have been able to maintain the ability to identity the people who are positive and isolate them and quarantine their very close contacts, they have had success in both slowing the spread and also in diminishing the number of people who are at the end of the day infected. And that’s what I ask all of you to do: be prepared for this to be a long haul, but do everything you can right now to slow the spread and to reduce the number of people who could be infected.” 

Laboratory Confirmed Cases — 292 Total Cases

  • Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas) — 278*
  • Long Beach — 12
  • Pasadena — 2

CITY / COMMUNITY**

  • Alhambra — 3
  • Altadena — 2
  • Arcadia — 2
  • Baldwin Hills — 1
  • Beverly Hills — 5
  • Beverlywood — 2
  • Boyle Heights — 5
  • Brentwood — 16
  • Burbank — 1
  • Calabasas — 1
  • Carson — 3
  • Castaic — 1
  • Century City — 4
  • Century Palms/Cove — 1
  • Covina — 1
  • Crestview — 1
  • Culver City — 4
  • Diamond Bar — 2
  • Downtown — 1
  • Eagle Rock — 1
  • East Los Angeles — 1
  • Echo Park — 1
  • El Segundo — 1
  • Encino — 8
  • Gardena — 1
  • Glendale — 4
  • Granada Hills — 4
  • Hancock Park — 2
  • Hawthorne — 2
  • Hollywood — 7
  • Hollywood Hills– 2
  • Inglewood — 2
  • Koreatown — 1
  • La Mirada — 3
  • Lake Balboa– 1
  • Lakewood — 1
  • Lancaster — 3
  • Lawndale — 1
  • Lomita — 5
  • Lynwood — 1
  • Manhattan Beach — 6
  • Mar Vista — 3
  • Melrose — 11
  • Miracle Mile –1
  • Monterey Park — 2
  • North Hollywood — 5
  • Northridge — 1
  • Pacific Palisades — 6
  • Palms — 1
  • Park La Brea — 4
  • Playa Vista — 1
  • Redondo Beach — 1
  • Reseda — 2
  • San Dimas — 1
  • San Fernando –1
  • San Pedro — 1
  • Santa Clarita — 4
  • Santa Monica — 4
  • Santa Monica Mountains — 2
  • Sherman Oaks — 6
  • South El Monte — 1
  • South Pasadena — 2
  • South Whittier — 1
  • Stevenson Ranch — 1
  • Studio City — 3
  • Sylmar — 1
  • Tarzana — 6
  • Torrance — 2
  • Tujunga –1
  • University Park –1
  • Valley Glen — 3
  • Van Nuys — 1
  • Venice — 4
  • Vermont Knolls — 1
  • Walnut — 2
  • West Adams — 1
  • West Hills — 3
  • West Hollywood — 15
  • West Los Angeles — 3
  • West Vernon — 1
  • Westchester — 3
  • Westwood — 5
  • Whittier — 2
  • Winnetka — 1
  • Woodland Hills — 4
  • – Under Investigation –39

 

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