By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County reported 6,918 new cases of COVID-19 and 316 additional deaths Saturday, as health officials also confirmed the second local case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 first discovered in the United Kingdom, and four additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

B.1.1.7 is considered more contagious, but not necessarily more deadly than the original strain of COVID-19.

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The B.1.1.7 specimen, submitted by a clinical facility, was sequenced as part of routine surveillance by the county’s Public Health Laboratory. The first confirmed case of B.1.1.7 was logged on January 16, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Officials believe the B.1.1.7 and other variants are already spreading in the county, and they are continuing to test samples.

MIS-C is an inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 in children, and symptoms include a fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

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The four additional cases of MIS-C bring the total number in L.A. County to 66 children, including one child death. All 66 children with MIS-C in L.A. County were hospitalized and 44 percent of the children were treated in the I.C.U. Of the 66, 32 percent were under the age of 5, 38 percent were between the ages of 5 and 11, and 30 percent were between the ages of 12 and 20.

Latino/Latinx children account for nearly 74 percent of the reported cases, the department said.

The county’s COVID-19 hospitalization rates continue to decline, with 5,669 coronavirus patients hospitalized Saturday, down from 5,855 the day before, and 26 percent of those patients in the I.C.U., officials reported.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)