LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported the largest single-day number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
The county reported 4,244 new cases, bringing the countywide total to 140,307 confirmed positive cases. There were also 2,103 people hospitalized, with 27% being treated in intensive care units and 19% on ventilators.
“Today’s numbers are alarming and unfortunately are the result of many businesses and individuals not adhering to the basic public health requirements of distancing and wearing face coverings,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “We are just not able to continue on a recovery journey without everyone doing their part. Keeping businesses open is only possible if we get back to slowing the spread.”
Public health officials also reported 73 new deaths, one of the highest number of new deaths reported in a day, though they said the figure might reflect a lag in the reporting of deaths over the weekend. In total, the county has reported 3,894 deaths.
“As a community, we must slow the spread of COVID-19 to prevent an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 in our hospitals and more untimely deaths,” Ferrer said. “I urge you to wear a face covering, stay at home as much as possible, avoid close contact with people you don’t live with and wash your hands.”
Due to the recent spike in cases, a number of school districts announced they would not offer in-person classes when school resumes this fall. Both Pasadena and Long Beach Unified School Districts announced Tuesday that their campuses would remain closed, following a Monday announcement by the Los Angeles Unified School District that it would only offer distance learning.
“Let’s not talk about we have to go to school, we have to stay open,” Dr. Jeffrey Galpin, an infectious disease expert, said. “We have to do what’s right.”
Galpin, who has spent his career researching pandemics such as HIV, said the surges seen in L.A. County can be attributed to a premature reopening.
“We eased up way too soon,” he said. “We were right on track, and then we eased up just enough and then we exploded.”
The sharp increase comes one day after the county’s health order was modified to align with new statewide mandates announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
Gyms and fitness centers, places of worship, indoor protests, offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barber shops and indoor malls were ordered to close again. Bars, indoor dining at restaurants, indoor museums, indoor operations at zoos and aquariums, and cardrooms and satellite wagering facilities remained closed and all events and gatherings, unless specifically allowed by the order, also remained prohibited.
Health officials continued to urge Angelenos to avoid crowded places, confined spaces and close contact with people outside of their household.
More information about the county’s COVID-19 protocols can be found online.