LA Health Department

Los Angeles County health officials confirmed eight more local cases of coronavirus Friday, including three with unknown sources of exposure, further increasing the evidence of “community transmission” of the illness.

The eight new cases bring the overall county total to 40, including four cases being overseen by Long Beach health officials and one by Pasadena health officials.

Of the eight new cases, two are hospitalized, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of the county Department of Public Health.

Three of the new patients have no known source of exposure, making them cases of “community transmission,” while one had recently traveled to South Korea. Investigations were continuing into the source of exposure in the other four patients.

Ferrer said 247 cases of COVID-19 have been reported statewide, with about 1,700 across the country, and 40 deaths nationwide. One death has been reported in Los Angeles County.

Ferrer again encouraged residents to engage in “social distancing,” which she called a “tool we’re using now to help us in our strategy for trying to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.”

“This is a particularly important tool (since) we don’t have the ability to vaccinate folks,” she said.

She also praised entertainment venues across the area for canceling large-scale events.

“I was so pleased with all the cooperation that we have been getting across the county from our larger ticketed venues who have on their own executed plans already to cancel their large events,” she said.

Ferrer confirmed that authorities are searching for locations across the county that can be used as quarantine shelters for people who have nowhere else to go, in an effort to ensure people who aren’t truly sick don’t fill valuable hospital beds.

“We are working with our county family to make sure that we have a place for people who need to be quarantined and/or isolated or are just ill and are trying to figure out if they have COVID-19 can be safely placed,” she said. “This particularly applies to folks who may be traveling and have no place to stay here, as well as to folks that are experiencing homelessness. Those plans haven’t been finalized, but we’re looking all across the county.”

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