LOS ANGELES – Health officials for Los Angeles County reported 31 additional deaths from COVID-19 Sunday and 323 new cases, bringing the county’s totals to 296 deaths and 9,192 cases.
In the Antelope Valley, there were 87 reported cases in Lancaster and 99 cases in Palmdale as of 12 p.m. Sunday, April 12, according to the LA County Department of Public Health website. COVID-19 has also been confirmed in residents of Acton and Lake Los Angeles as well as in residents of Sun Village, Quartz Hill and the western Antelope Valley, but the numbers are unspecified because of the communities’ small population, county officials said.
The numbers came as residents celebrated an unusual Easter Sunday in which not only churches but parks and nature areas were closed to the public in an effort to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
“As many… celebrate the Easter holiday today, I want to acknowledge those families that are grieving the loss of a loved one associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health. “…I also want to thank everyone for continuing to do their part to help suppress this virus; please stay at home whenever possible and when you go out in public, wear a cloth face covering.”
As of Sunday, 2,246 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (24% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, Ferrer said. She added that testing capacity continues to increase in the county, with results available for more than 47,000 individuals and 14% of people testing positive.
The county’s mortality rate from the illness — the percentage of people with the disease who have died — crept upward on Friday, reaching 2.9%. The county’s mortality rate last week was 1.8%.
According to Ferrer, around 28% of the people who have died from coronavirus in the county were residents of nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. The county is investigating cases at 159 “institutional settings,” such as nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, shelters, jails and prisons that have had at least one case. Those institutions have had a total of 1,062 cases and 67 deaths, all among residents.
A total of 53 cases have been confirmed in the county’s jails — eight inmates and 45 staff members. There were also 23 cases in prisons, while two staff members at the county juvenile hall in Sylmar have also tested positive.
The Jewish holiday Passover began at sundown Wednesday and ends at sundown April 16. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins April 23.