LA County, Long Beach continue to see spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Los Angeles County officials reported close to 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, and Long Beach reported another 142 positive tests.

The death toll and hospitalizations also continues to climb: LA County reported 57 new deaths and more 2,000 hospitalizations, while Long Beach had two additional deaths and 94 people hospitalized.

A total of 130,242 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in LA County, with 5,388 of those cases in Long Beach.

“This virus has taken a toll on all of us including our children,” Barbara Ferrer, the county health officer, said in a statement.

“We must work together to get back to being able to slow the spread. Unless we can do this, our recovery journey is in jeopardy.”

The rise in hospitalizations is particularly worrisome to health officials, who are working to avoid a situation in which hospitals become overwhelmed. The rate of those in hospitals throughout the county has climbed more than 25% from a few weeks ago.

Long Beach officials said this week that hospitalization utilization is at 60%, ventilators utilization is at 34% and ICU use is at 45% in the Long Beach area, which includes Lakewood and Los Alamitos hospitals.

Health officials urged everyone to follow health orders, including wearing face coverings, and businesses to adhere to directives meant to enforce social distancing.

“The actions of LA County residents to slow the spread cannot wait; we need to act now,” Ferrer said.

Fears of the virus spreading among young people are particularly acute over the weekend, with a heat wave driving up temperatures, likely leading to large crowds at Southland beaches.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged residents Friday evening to continue taking precautions—avoiding crowded places, confined spaces and close contact with others. He said get-togethers with people outside residents’ own households are still prohibited under health orders.

“Gatherings large and small are a major source of spread,” the mayor said.

County health officials and Garcetti warned this week that if the surge in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations continue, the county could see a return to tougher stay-at-home orders to slow the virus’ spread.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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