Los Angeles County health officials have confirmed 12 more local cases of coronavirus, including at least two more with unknown sources of exposure, further increasing the evidence of “community transmission” of the illness.

The new cases bring the county’s total to 54, including four cases being overseen by Long Beach health officials and one by Pasadena health officials. Those cities have their own health departments.

Of the 54, eight are likely due to community transmission, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County Public Health Director.

“As expected, we are seeing increased community spread, and as more testing occurs we will continue to see significantly more cases,” Ferrer said. “Our healthcare providers are prepared to see more cases, but we must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to minimize strain on our healthcare system and other service providers. This means strictly adhering to social distancing requirements, practicing good hygiene such as frequent hand washing, and caring for the most vulnerable members of our community.

“Please do not call 911 to request testing for COVID-19 and please do not go to our emergency rooms unless you are seriously ill and require emergency care,” she added. “If you have respiratory illness and want to know if you should be tested for COVID-19, it is best to call your health care provider or, if you don’t have a provider, call 2-1-1 for help finding a clinician near you,” she added.

The health department will notify people who may have had close personal contact with the confirmed patients, to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness. All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined, Ferrer said.

The department reported eight new cases Friday, including two who are hospitalized. Three of those patients have no known source of exposure, while one had recently traveled to South Korea.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles reported Friday that it is treating a patient between the ages of 6 and 9 for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

According to the hospital, the youngster is in fair condition and has no history of travel. The child is also receiving care for an unrelated underlying condition that most likely made the child vulnerable to the virus.

The patient is in isolation and both parents, who remain asymptomatic, are with their child in quarantine, according to CHLA officials, who said the case has not impacted hospital operations.

“The COVID-19 test was administered while the child was being treated at another hospital. CHLA was notified that the patient was a suspected COVID-19 patient and took all necessary safety and infection control precautions during the emergency transport and admittance,” the hospital’s statement says.

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