By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Friday reported 16,504 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and 96 more deaths, bringing countywide totals to 596,721 cases and 8,757 deaths.

Michelle Goldson, RN Thursday works inside the ICU at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Since Monday, the county has reported more than 71,000 new COVID-19 cases, prompting health officials to warn that as case numbers continue to surge, the number of people who become seriously ill or die from the virus will also increase.

Health officials also reported there were 5,100 people hospitalized Friday, 20% of whom were being treated in intensive care units. Just one week prior, there were 3,624 COVID-19 patients hospitalized.

Public health also reported four additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, bringing the total number of cases in L.A. county to 49. All 49 children were hospitalized, with 50% being treated in intensive care units. One child has died from the illness in L.A. County.

Of the 96 new deaths reported Friday, 36 people were over the age of 80, 28 people were between the ages of 65 and 79, 18 people were between the ages of 50 and 64 and seven people were between the ages of 30 and 49.

Health officials again called on residents and businesses to follow all local public guidelines in an effort to slow the spread of the virus as deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine continued.

“The actions we take today will impact whether we see more or less cases of COVID-19 two weeks from now, and beyond,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “Let’s keep everyone we can healthy and alive until it is their turn to receive the vaccine. Instead of debating and undermining, it is time to follow the guidance and directives, because this will save lives.”