LOS ANGELES – Twenty-eight deaths from COVID-19 and 568 new cases were announced Monday in Los Angeles County.
In the Antelope Valley, there were 442 reported cases and 10 deaths in Palmdale, 343 cases and six deaths in Lancaster, 28 cases and four deaths in Quartz Hill, 21 cases and two deaths in Lake Los Angeles, 16 cases and no deaths in the Littlerock/Pearblossom, Juniper Hills areas, and six reported cases and no deaths in Sun Village, as of Monday, May 4, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. View the latest report here.
The new numbers brought Los Angeles County’s case total to 26,217, with 1,256 fatalities. Roughly half of those deaths have occurred in institutional settings, primarily skilled nursing facilities.
As of Monday, institutional settings — including nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, shelters, jails and prisons — accounted for 616 deaths in the county.
Health officials are investigating 328 institutional settings that have had at least one confirmed or suspected case.
For the 1,148 people who died from the virus and for whom racial data was available, 38% were Latinx, 29% white, 19% Asian, 13% black and 1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
A total of 2,978 health care workers and first responders in Los Angeles County have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of about 1,000 from the previous week.
Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health, said the large jump was due primarily to stepped-up testing that has been implemented at nursing facilities. Fifteen health care workers have died in the county, and Ferrer said 12 of those people worked at skilled nursing or assisted living facilities.
Despite the continued spread of the virus, Ferrer said county officials this week will discuss plans for reopening of businesses that have been shuttered for weeks under state and local stay-at-home orders. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier Monday that the state will release guidelines on Thursday, May 7, that will allow some low-risk retail businesses to reopen with curbside pickup only — such as book stores, clothing stores, sporting-goods shops and florists.
Newsom said individual counties will retain the authority to keep stricter orders in place, possibly even delaying such businesses from reopening. Ferrer declined to say if Los Angeles County — which has had nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in the state, despite only having about one-quarter of the population — will fully go along with the state’s loosening of restrictions. She said the county will allow businesses to reopen as quickly as possible wherever it can be safely done so.
“I know we’re all looking forward to more businesses reopening and more people being able to get back to work,” Ferrer said. “I do want to emphasize that all of us share in the responsibility to reopen in a way that’s safe and doesn’t cause a spike in COVID-19 cases that can result in overwhelming our health care system and having more deaths than we would want to see.
“… The virus has not changed. And it’s still easily transmitted among people who are in close contact with each other,” Ferrer said. “And the virus remains deadly. And we know that on average, more people die in L.A. County from COVID-19 than from any other disease. So please remember that physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings, washing your hands, self- isolating and self-quarantining will continue to be important actions that we’ll need to do throughout the foreseeable future.”