COVID-19 now leading cause of death in Los Angeles County
By Sam Catanzaro
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed over 1,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which is now the leading cause of death in the county.
On Thursday, Public Health confirmed 68 new deaths and 1,081 new cases of COVID-19. 51 of the people who died were over the age of 65; 11 people who died were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old, and three people who died were between the ages of 18 to 40 years old. 51 people had underlying health conditions including 40 people over the age of 65, nine people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old and two people between the ages of 18 to 40 years old.
As of Thursday, Public Health has identified 17,508 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, including 144 in Santa Monica, and a total of 797 deaths.
According to Public Health, 89 percent of people who died had underlying health conditions.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health noted that COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County.
“So many in LA County are mourning people who have passed away from COVID-19. We are deeply sorry for your loss, and you are in our thoughts and prayers every day,” Ferrer said. “COVID-19 is rapidly becoming one of the leading causes of death among LA County residents. On average, 44 people are dying each day from COVID-19. This is significantly higher than the five people who die each day from the flu and 31 people who die from coronary heart disease.”
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 716 people (96 percent of the cases).
According to Public Health, 37 percent of deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 28 percent among White residents, 18 percent among Asian residents, 15 percent among African American residents, and 2 percent among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, eight cases reported earlier were not LA County residents. As of today, 4,053 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (24 percent of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for almost 99,000 individuals and 14 percent of people testing positive.