Public Health Reports 5,189 New Cases, 256 DeathsBy CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Wednesday reported 5,189 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 256 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,129,503 cases and 17,308 deaths.

Of the 256 new deaths reported, 69 people who died were over the age of 80, 92 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 51 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 and 24 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. Seven deaths were reported by the city of Pasadena and 13 were reported by the city of Long Beach.

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Also on Wednesday, Public Health reported a third case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom and is believed to be more transmissible.

“Presence of the B.1.1.7 variant in Los Angeles County means virus transmission can happen more easily, and residents and businesses must be more diligent at implementing and following all standard public health safety measures, including face coverings, distancing, and handwashing, put in place to prevent additional cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” the department said.

As of Wednesday, there were 5,165 people hospitalized, 27% of whom were being treated in intensive care units.

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Los Angeles County remains in the state’s most restrictive purple tier with a daily case rate far above the 7 new cases per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate that exceeds the 8% thresholds to move into the red tier. As of Jan. 23, the county’s adjusted case rate was 38.7 per 100,000 residents and the positivity rate was 11.3%.

Due to the high positivity and case rate, health officials continued to urge residents to watch the Super Bowl at home and refrain from gathering in-person with others, even if done outside.

“Super Bowl parties have the power to derail our recovery and given the likelihood that there are more infectious variants circulating in our community, let’s not take chances with our own health and the health of others by creating easy opportunities for the virus to spread,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “This weekend, we ask that you not share with others your respiratory droplets, which are more easily spread when we raise our voices, cheer, sing, and chant. The serious consequences of gathering indoors with people outside of your household to watch the Super Bowl is just not worth it.”

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With testing results available for nearly 5,543,000 individuals, the county’s overall positivity rate was holding steady at 19%.