Mark McDermott

LA County confirms 421 new COVID-19 cases and nine new deaths; South Bay cases jump to 126, including 20 in Redondo Beach and 21 in Hermosa/Manhattan Beach

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by Mark McDermott

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Thursday confirmed nine new deaths and 421 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections countywide. Over the last 48 hours there have been 559 new cases confirmed, bringing the County total to 1216, and 21 total deaths. 

In the South Bay, the number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 126, with 35 new cases confirmed. The biggest jump was in Redondo Beach, which increased from 9 to 21. Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, which are counted together, have 21 confirmed cases, as does Carson. Torrance had 12 confirmed cases. Both Inglewood and Lomita have a dozen cases confirmed, Hawthorne 9, Rancho Palos Verdes 6, San Pedro 5, Gardena 4, Lawndale and El Segundo 2 each. 

Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said most of the increases are due to increasing testing capacity. She said the rate of acceleration was expected but nonetheless alarming. 

“New York and Italy both experienced very rapid acceleration in new cases and we would be foolish not to prepare for a similar situation here in LA County,” Ferrer said. 

The nine new confirmed deaths were also the biggest single-day total in LA County. 

“We are sad to report these nine additional deaths today – it is the highest daily number we’ve released to date,” Ferrer said. “Unfortunately, we have been expecting this. To the families and loved ones, we are deeply sorry for your loss. This dramatic increase in cases is due in part to increased testing capacity in LA County which is allowing us to identify more positive cases. In order to slow the spread and save lives, all of us must do our part by staying home, adhering to all social distancing measures and caring for each other.”

On Wednesday, Health Officer Orders were issued by LA County to ensure that individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and those who are told by a clinician they are presumed to be positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for a period of seven days and three days of being symptom-free. Additionally, those who have been in close contact with someone who is positive or presumed positive must quarantine themselves for 14 days from their last exposure to that person.  County health officials are emphasizing that it is critically important that everyone adheres to all the social distancing measures and practice good public health hygiene, including washing hands as frequently as possible.

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