LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County confirmed another 51 coronavirus deaths Tuesday, along with 2,708 new cases.
To date (July 28), Public Health has identified 178,642 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,426 deaths in all areas of Los Angeles County, including 2,318 cases and 30 deaths in Palmdale; 1,957 cases and 27 deaths in Lancaster; 115 cases and 10 deaths in Quartz Hill; 126 cases and two deaths in Lake Los Angeles; 105 cases and no deaths in the Littlerock/Pearblossom, Juniper Hills areas; and 93 cases and one death in Sun Village. View the latest detailed report here.
County health officials said a backlog of testing results being reported by the state’s electronic lab system was skewing the numbers, and they expected that backlog to clear over the coming days.
Data-reporting was also affecting the number of people listed as hospitalized due to the coronavirus. The county on Tuesday reported 2,051 confirmed cases in hospitals — not including Long Beach and Pasadena — with 29% of those people in intensive care units. Those numbers, however, did not include data from three hospitals, county officials said, indicating the actual number of people hospitalized is likely higher.
County health officials have been cautiously optimistic in recent days about the data trends, suggesting that while the pandemic is still raging, key metrics such as testing-positivity rates and hospital admissions appeared to be leveling off, suggesting progress is being made in slowing the spread of the virus.
Public health director Barbara Ferrer stressed that if residents continued following infection-control measures such as physical distancing and wearing face coverings, the numbers will continue to improve.
“As individuals, and as a community, we must collectively commit to continuously practice the behaviors that slow the spread of COVID-19,” she said in a statement. “Compliance with public health directives, containment of the virus and collaboration across all sectors are key for us to move into the long-term recovery that we all want to see happen as soon as possible.”
Ferrer also stressed the importance of business owners adhering to public health directives and reporting any outbreaks among employees.
The county had earlier promoted avoidance of “three C’s”: crowded places, confined spaces and close contact with others. On Monday, Ferrer rolled out another “three C’s”: compliance, containment and collaboration, all aimed at urging adherence to control measures such as wearing face coverings and physical distancing, along with stepped up testing and cooperation with contact tracers and working collaboratively across all sectors of government and business.
“Our businesses and our employers must also do their part, and they’re required to alert us to any outbreaks at their work sites,” Ferrer said. “Employers remain key to ensuring that we can move forward in our recovery journey.”
Ferrer also stressed that younger residents are driving the recent increase in cases, noting that since May, the majority of new cases have occurred in people aged 18-49. She said the 18-to-29 age group “is accounting for a sharply increasing percentage of cases,” while “all the other age groups are either flat or decreasing slightly.”
It’s that younger group that can be increasingly difficult to reach, with officials noting in recent weeks that younger residents are more likely to be gathering in groups, holding parties or generally believing they are not vulnerable to the virus.
Ferrer has repeatedly warned that while young people may not be in danger of falling dramatically ill due to the virus, they can easily spread it to people who are.