By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday there are now 18 confirmed cases in the county of the COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom.

According to Ferrer, officials from county health and USC are investigating a university outbreak of four cases, two of which have been confirmed to be the UK variant, and the other two are suspected of being that variant.

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“The individuals are doing well and they are in isolation,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “Close contacts have been identified, notified and they’re quarantining.”

To date, there are still no confirmed cases of a South African variant, but she says there does appear to be a large presence of a California variant.

Los Angeles County also reported an additional 136 COVID-19 deaths Wednesday and another 2,157 newly confirmed cases.

The numbers brought the county’s death toll to 20,987, including the 806 fatalities that occurred since early December but were just now identified as COVID deaths.

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Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says another 806 deaths that occurred from early December through early February but weren’t reported earlier to the county have now been identified as COVID-19 fatalities, through a review of death certificates.

“The majority of these deaths occurred during the surge between Dec. 3, 2020, and Feb. 3, 2021,” Ferrer said. “This was a period as you all know when very many deaths occurred across the county and not all of them were reported to Public Health because of the volume of records.

Meanwhile, the California Department of Public Health gave the green light Wednesday for high school sports to resume in both Los Angeles and Orange counties.

With the adjusted daily case rate of coronavirus falling behind the necessary thresholds in both counties, high school sports that were banned during the pandemic – like football and basketball – can now resume under new guidelines.

Sports like football, basketball, rugby, and water polo players will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests, with results made available within 24 hours of competition. These sports were given more stringent guidelines because they are more likely to be played unmasked and with close, face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes.

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