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LA County coronavirus cases surge past 100,000 with record high one-day tally

Colleen Shalby and Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County confirmed 22 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 2,903 new coronavirus cases Monday, the largest single-day number of new infections the county has reported since the pandemic hit the U.S.

The daily tally brings the total number of coronavirus cases in L.A. County to more than 100,000.

The alarming spike in cases is not only related to increased testing, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. The surge is proof that community transmission has "definitively" increased as the positivity rate of infection nears 9%. Officials are now warning that one in 140 residents is likely to be unkowingly infected with virus -- a huge increase since last week's projection of one in 400.

In addition, health officials revealed that more than 500,000 people visited newly reopened nightlife spots in Los Angeles County on June 20 when the county gave the green light for bars, breweries, wineries and similar businesses to reopen.

Officials said that 49% of bars and 33% of restaurants in the county were not adhering to social distancing protocols this past week. Additionally, inspectors found that workers at 54% of bars and 44% of restaurants were not wearing face masks or shields.

"There are a number of businesses and individuals who have not followed the directives, and they've gone back to living like COVID-19 is not living in our community," Ferrer said. "If you're not part of the solution to slow the spread, you're ending up being part of the problem."

 

The news follows the state's order that seven counties -- including Los Angeles -- must close their bars, while eight others were encouraged to follow suit.

Across the state, infections have increased by 45% over the past 14 days and hospitalizations have grown by 43%.

Officials have previously said that the increase in COVID-19 infections is "highly likely" the result of people gathering en masse at protests over the death of George Floyd, in addition to clusters who have congregated in restaurants and at private gatherings.

But because contact tracers do not track the start of spread in public spaces, it is often impossible to know the origin of transmission. Still, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the surge in cases is caused largely "by people mixing that were otherwise not mixing in the past," before the state allowed the further reopening of select businesses.

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