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'Nothing can be off the table' as California coronavirus deaths surge toward 7,000

Luke Money and Leila Miller, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- California coronavirus deaths approached 7,000 as officials raised new alarms about rapid community spread and the grim consequences ahead if the public cannot change its behavior.

As of Saturday morning, the state's coronavirus-related death toll stood at 6,958. Daily death totals have begun to increase after a month of spiking cases and hospitalizations tied to businesses reopening and people getting back to old habits and social gatherings.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti again warned residents that the city could reimpose a mandatory stay-at-home order should conditions continue to deteriorate.

"We're not back to a Safer at Home order, but we all need to do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19," he said.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday that "nothing can be off the table in the pandemic" but that she personally hopes "we don't have to go back there. I hope that we figure out a way to take care of each other, to be sensible about what we're doing."

The coronavirus continues to spread in L.A. County as officials Friday confirmed 51 more deaths related to COVID-19 and 2,667 additional cases.


There are 1,995 people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the county, with 26% in intensive care and 17% on ventilators. It's a significant increase from the 1,350-to-1,450 daily hospitalizations seen four weeks ago, according to the Department of Public Health.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average the county's daily test positivity rate -- the share of those tested for the coronavirus whose results are positive -- has climbed to 10%.

L.A. County has identified more than 127,300 cases of the virus and seen more than 3,700 deaths, with the number of patients with confirmed infections having increased by more than 40% having increased by more than 40% in the last three weeks. Officials have warned of the potential for exceeding hospital capacity.

In one outbreak, more than 300 infections and four virus-related deaths have been reported among workers at a Los Angeles Apparel factory, county public health officials announced Friday.


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