L.A. County hits 7,000 deaths, more than 300,000 COVID-19 cases

Alex Wigglesworth
·2 min read
AZUSA, CA - OCTOBER 24: Jon, who gave only first name, in full face mask works on his ballot at In-person early voting place at Azusa Women's Club on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 in Azusa, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Jon, who gave only his first name, wears a full mask goes through his ballot at an in-person early voting center at the Azusa Women's Club on Saturday. In L.A. County, there have now been nearly 300,000 cases of the coronavirus and nearly 7,000 deaths. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County public health officials confirmed Monday the county has recorded 7,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 300,000 cases.

On Monday, there 861 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths, which followed Sunday’s report of 830 new cases and four related fatalities.

The lower number of deaths reflects weekend reporting delays, officials said; case numbers are also usually lower on the weekends because not all laboratories submit reports.

The official numbers for the county infections is 300,614. Statewide, California surpassed 900,000 confirmed cases of the virus Saturday, and more than 17,300 people have died.

Hospitalizations have ticked upward slightly in L.A., with the most recent three-day average reported by the county representing an increase of 8%, according to data from the Department of Public health. There were 785 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals as of Friday, an increase of about 100 compared with earlier in the month but still far below the more than 2,200 patients reported at the peak of the crisis in mid-July.

The proportion of tests coming back positive also has increased from earlier in the month, with the seven-day average up from 3% to 3.4%. Experts say an increase in the positivity rate can indicate increased community transmission. In July, about 8% of tests were coming back positive.

When it comes to reopening business sectors, Los Angeles remains in the most restrictive purple tier of the state’s four-phase reopening plan, meaning that risk of transmission of the virus remains widespread and many businesses must remain closed for indoor services.

Although its positivity rate qualifies L.A. to move into a less restrictive reopening tier — as does the rate of positive tests in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods at 5.9% — the county’s adjusted rate of cases per 100,000 residents remains too high at 7.6. In order for the county to move into the less restrictive red tier, it must report an adjusted daily average of no more than 7 cases per 100,000 residents.

The number of daily confirmed coronavirus infections in L.A. County swelled significantly last week, reaching 3,600 Thursday and topping 2,000 Friday and Saturday, but officials said the increase was the result of a sizable backlog in the reporting of test results because of technical glitches.

Staff writer Andrew J. Campa contributed to this report.

Updates:
4:19 PM, Oct. 26, 2020: Los Angeles County public health officials updated the latest figure of 7,000 COVID-19 deaths.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.