LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 18 more deaths due to the coronavirus, along with 477 new cases.
To date (May 18), Public Health has identified 38,451 positive cases and 1,839 deaths in Los Angeles County, including 576 cases and 13 deaths in Palmdale; 480 cases and eight deaths in Lancaster; 31 cases and seven deaths in Quartz Hill; 27 cases and two deaths in Lake Los Angeles; 31 cases and no deaths in the Littlerock/Pearblossom, Juniper Hills areas; and 10 cases and no deaths in Sun Village. View the latest detailed report here.
The numbers of new cases and deaths tend to be lower on Mondays, due to the reduced availability of testing and results over the weekend.
Last week, the county relaxed some of its health restrictions, authorizing most retail businesses in the county to reopen with curbside pickup only and restrictions on face coverings and social distancing.
Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, tried to strike a positive tone about the large numbers of residents and businesses that adhered to continuing health restrictions over the weekend, but said there were problems.
“Over weekend, our inspectors visited over 1,600 businesses, and we found that over 1,000 businesses were not yet in compliance with the Safer At Home directives,” she said. “We worked with all of the businesses so they could implement these measures and we want to thank them for following the orders and keeping their employees and their customers as safe as possible.”
She noted that with more amenities open, it was likely that more than 1 million people left their homes over the weekend, and with an estimated countywide infection rate of about 4%, as many as 40,000 of those people could have been infected with COVID-19, regardless of whether they were showing any symptoms.
“So you can see why we do stand here every day and we tell you why it’s so important for us to continue to slow the spread,” Ferrer said. “As more and more people are about, it’s very easy to have a scenario where there’s more infections. And having more infections results in overwhelming the health care system. But I do know that if we do our part, if we are able to keep our distance, if we use our face coverings when we’re around other people, it made a difference before and it will make a difference as we move through the future.”
Ferrer said a survey of local medical facilities has uncovered a total of four cases in the county of a condition in children potentially linked to the coronavirus, known as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, or PIMS. Another 21 “suspect cases” of the condition have been identified since March 1.
All four of the county’s cases appear to have occurred at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, which confirmed last week a fourth patient. The hospital reported three cases of the condition earlier this month, and all three of those patients — between the ages of 8 months and 2 years old — have since been discharged. The fourth patient was being treated as of last week, listed in critical condition.
CHLA officials have said the four patients all tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, indicating that they were infected with the coronavirus at some point, prompting speculation that PIMS could be a delayed response by the body to the illness.
An interactive dashboard is available that provides comprehensive information on COVID-19 cases and deaths, along with maps and graphs showing data by city and community. To view Public Health’s COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard, visit: http://dashboard.publichealth.lacounty.gov/covid19_surveillance_dashboard/