LA County reports 839 cases of COVID-19, one death in Long Beach, amid looser restrictions

Los Angeles County reported 839 new cases of COVID-19 and 40 additional deaths today, along with another slight drop in coronavirus hospitalizations. The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals dropped from 596 Friday to 590, according to state figures. The number of those patients in intensive care dropped by one to 158.

Saturday’s numbers brought the county’s totals to 1,221,605 cases and 23,274 fatalities since the pandemic began. Of the 40 new deaths, eight people were over the age of 80, 20 people were between 65 and 79, seven were between 50 and 64, three were between 30 and 49, and one person who died was between 18 and 29, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

One death was reported by the city of Long Beach.

The health department also continues tracking cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), and has identified 158 children with MIS-C in LA County including one child death. All 158 were hospitalized and 40% of the children were treated in the ICU.

MIS-C is a serious inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that affects children under 21 years old. Symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

Amid declining overall COVID-19 numbers, county health officials continue to urge residents to take precautions, acknowledging what could be seen as mixed messaging about the state of the pandemic.   “The declining number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is a very encouraging trend and reflects the significant decrease in community transmission we experienced a few weeks back,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Saturday. “We will continue to make progress slowing transmission, preventing suffering, and saving lives when we all do our part to keep each other safe by following the rules and getting vaccinated when it is our turn. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, recently traveled out of state, were in crowds in close proximity to unmasked individuals, or attended large gatherings, please get tested. Don’t take a chance on spreading this virus to others.”

The county’s chief health officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, told reporters Friday he understands that people might get confused as they are bombarded with updates about the virus—the success of vaccines, plans for more business re-openings, the threat of COVID virus variants and continued pleas for mask-wearing and social distancing—but he said, “that’s the way things go in terms of a new virus. We’re learning as we go and we’re adjusting as we go as well.”

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