LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 4,592 cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday, a single-day record number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“This week we’ve hit concerning milestones,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said in a statement. “We have reported the most cases in a single day, the most hospitalizations and tragically high death numbers.”
In the past 48 hours, the county has reported 7,350 new cases of the virus. To date, county health officials have identified 147,468 positive cases of COVID-19.
“Each case represents a person that is capable of, and in all probability is, infecting at least one other person,” Ferrer said. “If you do the math, it is easy to see why the alarm. In a matter of weeks, the 4,600 positive cases today could lead to over 18,000 infected people in a few weeks. And this is just from one day of new cases.”
Health officials also reported 59 fatalities Thursday, bringing the county’s death toll to 3,988. According to the department, 93% of those who died had underlying health conditions.
As of Thursday, there were 2,173 confirmed coronavirus patients hospitalized with 27% of those being treated in intensive care units and 17% on ventilators.
“Data shows younger people between the ages of 18 and 40 years old are being hospitalized at a higher rate than seen at any point in this pandemic,” the health department said in a statement. “They comprise of 20% of patients with COVID-19 currently hospitalized.”
Angela Vázquez, who was hospitalized with COVID-19, said she was still recovering after contracting coronavirus in March.
“I believe I’m at day 112 since I first started showing symptoms,” she said.
The 33-year-old said she believes she was infected while waiting in line for more than an hour at a grocery store before face coverings were required and is now pleading with people to wear face coverings, even when they’re outside.
“I had very painful heart palpitations radiating up to my neck and down my arms,” Vázquez said. “I, at one point, lost all sensations on the right side of my body.”
County leaders said essential workers, many of whom are Latinx, have been disproportionately hit by COVID-19 with spikes being linked to workplaces that do not follow safety protocols.
“Without aggressive action on the part of every person, we will not get back to slowing the spread,” Ferrer said.
Health officials said testing results were available for over 1,440,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive.