LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County health officials reported a surge of 548 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, including 10 deaths. It marks the largest one-day spike for the county since the pandemic began.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reported that of the 10 deaths, four of the victims were under the age of 65, and one was under the age of 41.

Ferrer reported that the total number of cases in the county is at 3,011, with the total number of deaths at 54. The mortality rate is at 1.8 percent. This includes 115 cases in Long Beach and 25 in Pasadena.

“With today’s count of over 3,000 cases, we have more than tripled the number of positive cases in L.A. County in a week,” Ferrer said.

The surge was partly due to the increased testing capacity, Ferrer noted. More than 19,000 people in the county have been tested. 79 percent of the cases are among people ages 18 to 65.

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Furthermore, one of the seven deaths which was reported Monday was a healthcare worker who was over the age of 65, marking the first healthcare worker death in L.A. County from COVID-19, Ferrer said.

Ferrer also said that there have been confirmed coronavirus cases at 35 “institutional settings.” This includes 20 nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities and one interim housing facility. The total number of confirmed cases across all the institutional settings was 155, which includes staff and residents.

Eleven of those institutional facilities have reported three or more cases.

Ferrer also explained that there is now “emerging science” that asymptomatic people are infecting others before they themselves show symptoms.

“It’s now acknowledged by some well known science and research studies that there in fact is the possibility for people to infect other people before they show any signs of symptoms,” she said. “That is why we’re now going back 48 hours from the time somebody has some symptoms to identify what may be the close contacts of the person who is positive and/or presumed positive.”

According to the CDC, COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — is spread from person-to-person through close contact, usually within 6 feet, and mainly via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People are likely most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Coronavirus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose and eyes.

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