By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Thursday reported 2,253 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 119 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 1,198,098 cases and 21,778 deaths.

Of the new deaths reported, 43 people were over the age of 80, 41 people were between the ages of 65 and 79, 21 people were between the ages of 50 and 64, six people were between the ages of 30 and 49, and one person was between the ages of 18 and 29. Long Beach reported six deaths and the Pasadena added one.

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And while COVID-19 numbers have decreased, Public Health said transmission remains widespread in L.A. County and urged residents to avoid non-essential travel for spring break.

“We may just be weeks away from reducing transmission in L.A. County enough so that additional re-openings are permitted,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “However, with increased case numbers in other states, and more circulating variants of concern, spring travel can lead to another surge that frankly would be almost impossible to tolerate.

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“Travel increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19,” she continued. “To avoid this, please postpone travel and continue doing your part to slow the spread so that our recovery journey isn’t sidelined.”

Health officials said L.A. County residents should continue to avoid all non-essential travel and stay within 120 miles of their home, unless the travel is for an essential purpose. Those who do decide to travel, must self-quarantine upon arrival in L.A. County for 10 days and avoid contact with others.

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There were 1,401 COVID-19 patients hospitalized Thursday, 32% of whom were being treated in intensive care units. With testing results available for more than 5,866,000 individuals, the county’s overall positivity rate was holding at 19%, though the daily test positivity rate was 2.5%.