LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles County climbed to nearly 300 Friday, including two deaths.
As of Friday afternoon, the number of COVID-19 cases reported by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was 292, including 12 cases in Long Beach and two in Pasadena.READ MORE: Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park In Orange County Closed Again Due To Mountain Lion Sightings
Long Beach, which maintains its own health department, reported two more cases late Friday morning, bringing the city’s total to 14 and the countywide total to 294.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of county health, stressed Thursday that the county should expect to see continued increases in cases over the next four to 12 weeks.
“But that doesn’t mean that the important actions that you’re all taking to combat this virus are not working,” she said.
“Social distancing is critical and we implore you to take seriously everyone’s obligation to limit their exposures to others and to limit others from being exposed to you. This is the one way that we can all be serious about what it mean to try to slow down the increasing number of cases here in the county.”
Both L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a “Safer At Home” order.
The order requires that non-essential workers to stay home, with some exceptions, went into effect at midnight, and on Friday Garcetti wanted to reassure people that necessary businesses would stay open.
“You can keep filling up your gas tank, you can keep picking up your medications, there is plenty of food and it’s a great time to cook,” he said. “There’s no need to over buy for you or for your family because grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores will remain open.”READ MORE: Clippers’ New $1.8B Inglewood Arena, The Intuit Dome, To Break Ground Friday
But with non-essential businesses like salons, gyms, bars and retail shops closed, city leaders know that means many people will be out of work and without a paycheck.
“I know this has put major strains on businesses, small and large,” Garcetti said. One of the ways you can help those folks that are the businesses you go to is pre-purchase services now that you know you will need at the tail end of this.”
Garcetti also announced the launch of the LA Jobs Portal, a website with resources like employment help, a food pantry locator and healthcare resources.
The mayor also said that on Saturday, more than a dozen of the city’s parks and recreation centers will be opening as shelters for the homeless, staffed by city employees.
Garcetti said he expects 42 of those shelters to be open in the coming week to help stop the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population.
Newsom warned Thursday that the number of California cases is likely to skyrocket in the coming weeks, projecting 25.5 million cases — roughly 56% of the population — within two months.
Health officials have stressed since the outbreak began that while older people, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women can suffer more severe consequences from contracting coronavirus, the threat of being diagnosed with the illness is spread across all age groups.
Los Angeles County on Thursday reported its second death from the virus. County officials did not name the patient, but his relatives identified him as 34-year old Jeffrey Ghazarian of Glendora.
The number of cases in California topped 1,000 on Friday, with the California Department of Public Health putting the number at 1,006, including 19 deaths.
Ferrer said anyone who is feeling “stressed and overwhelmed” can call a 24-hour support hotline operated by the county Department of Mental Health at 800-854-7771.MORE NEWS: Inland Empire, Coachella Valley To Remember Marines Killed In Afghanistan Withdrawal This Weekend
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