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COVID-19: Highest Daily Death Count Yet; 1 Million Could Be Infected Without Social Distancing

A screen capture of the Facebook Live online streaming of the L.A. County daily press briefing, on March 26, 2020. Director of LACDPH Barbara Ferrer gives the status update.


Alhambra , CA United States

The numbers that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced at its daily status briefing Thursday were serious and sobering.

Since yesterday, there have been nine deaths in Los Angeles County. That is triple the number of three that was reported on Wednesday.

“We are sad to report these nine additional deaths today – it is the highest daily number we’ve released to date,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Los Angeles’ death count is now 21; the death of the youth in Lancaster that was reported is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation and one previously reported death was not a resident of  L.A. County.

There have been 559 cases in the last 48 hours, including the numbers from Long Beach and Pasadena. Los Angeles County’s case total is now 1216 cases.

Ferrer said the dramatic increase is partly due to an increased testing capacity, however, “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.”

If the county, which is comprised of over 10 million people, does not practice aggressive social distancing, within weeks 10% of the population could be infected. That’s 1 million infected with COVID-19 if the county doesn’t work to slow the spread.

Ferrer broke it down:

If 1,000 people have COVID-19 and they infect two others, and those people continue to infect others, within weeks 1 million people could have COVID-19.

At the current rate, 20% of people with COVID-19 need to be hospitalized at some point in their sickness.

If 20% of 1 million people need to be hospitalized, that is 200,000 people – and local hospitals are not equipped for 200,000 people in terms of resources or space.

Ferrer reminded adults and young adults that aren’t taking the Health Officer Order seriously that 40% of cases  in LA County are ages 18 to 40, and 40% are between 41 and 65 years old.

In case you missed it, yesterday the Health Officer strengthened the Stay at Home order, requiring those who have been diagnosed or likely to have COVID-19 must isolate themselves for seven days, or 72 hours fever-free, whichever is later.

Those isolated must also tell those who live in their residence, intimate partners, caregivers and close contacts, and they need to begin their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Number of cases around the West San Gabriel Valley from Thursday’s County Health Department release:

  • Pasadena: 9
  • Alhambra: 8
  • East Los Angeles: 4
  • Highland Park: 3
  • Lincoln Heights: 1
  • Montebello: 1
  • Monterey Park: 4
  • San Gabriel: 3
  • South El Monte: 4
  • South Pasadena: 4
    • The LACDPH noted the city count includes surrounding communities

If you know someone who is elderly and needs meal assistance, go to the county’s Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services page or call 800-510-2020.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Call a doctor if you’re experiencing these.

Emergency warning signs are difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to wake, and bluish lips or face. If you or someone you know has these, seek medical attention immediately.

Domestic violence resources are available for you or others you may know. Shelters, law enforcement and non-profits are all continuing to function, and emergency protective orders are still being enforced.

Call 800-978-3000 or go to their page.

Visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Heath’s page.

Do not call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room for COVID-19 testing unless you are seriously ill.

L.A. County residents can call 2-1-1, the county’s information line, for referrals to resources or help.

The California Department of Public Health’s coronavirus page is here.


For all of the reporting from the Alhambra Source, go to our Stay Healthy page.

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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