L.A. County has reached a grim milestone in its struggle against the coronavirus with 3,290 new confirmed coronavirus cases, pushing the countywide total since the start of the pandemic across the 200,000 mark.
According to the county, the total as of Thursday stood at 201,106. The city of Long Beach, which has its own health department, announced another 94 cases Thursday, pushing the countywide total to 201,200.
The case numbers, however, are likely higher than the numbers being reported, due to a continuing technological issue with the state’s laboratory database.
The reporting glitch does not impact the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. The county reported another 48 deaths due to the virus Thursday, lifting the countywide total to 4,869.
As of Thursday, there were 1,741 people hospitalized due to the virus, down from the 2,200 level of mid-July.
Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu on Wednesday introduced a motion suggesting various penalties for people who host parties, including permit prohibitions or having a certificate of occupancy held or revoked, in addition to utility shutoffs like those ordered by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
County public health director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday that the county’s younger residents — those most likely to be attending large parties — are driving up coronavirus case numbers in the county. She said infection rates among residents aged 30 to 49 nearly tripled between June and late July, and rates among those 18-29 quadrupled.
“These two age groups continue to drive new infections here in the county,” Ferrer said.
She said people in the 18-29 age group now represent twice the percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the county than they did in April, matching the rate of people aged 80 and over. People aged 30-49 now represent 25% of all hospitalized virus patients.
Ferrer said the county has reported hundreds of deaths among younger age groups, but noted that younger people who become infected but don’t become severely ill can still pass the virus to older residents who might require hospitalization or even die.
Driving home the point that COVID-19 can affect anyone, regardless of age, Ferrer pointed to a recently documented outbreak along USC’s fraternity row that has so far resulted in 45 positive cases of the virus. She said a separate smaller outbreak occurred among another group of USC students who were studying and socializing together.
Ferrer also said at least eight football players at UCLA have tested positive.