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‘A Very Sad Milestone:’ LA County Records 2,000 Coronavirus Deaths

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The death toll from the coronavirus has crossed the 2,000-mark in Los Angeles County.

Face shields and N95 masks are worn on May 14, 2020, at the LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

There were 46 new coronavirus deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths from the disease in L.A. County to 2,016.

“This is a very sad milestone for us,” L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a briefing Thursday afternoon.

There were 1,204 new coronavirus cases reported over the past 24 hours, raising the total number of cases to 42,037.

Ferrer said that with more people returning to work and the stay-at-home orders easing, the spread of the virus may more difficult to contain.

“As more businesses and public spaces are open, as individuals and institutions, we do need to take care of each other by continuing to practice physical distancing, wearing our cloth-faced coverings and following all of the directives for creating as much safety as possible,” she said.

Ferrer noted that the COVID-19 hospitalization rate and death rate continues to go down, two important metrics which were among a list of benchmarks she released last week which the county must meet in order to begin easing restrictions.

The average number of daily deaths for the past seven days was 37, a 12% decrease from the prior seven-day average.

The three-day average for hospitalizations was at 1,532, a 15% decrease from the prior-three day average. 1,517 were hospitalized with coronavirus Thursday.

“Our data reflects having adequate hospital capacity, including our capacity in intensive care units and our supply of ventilators,” Ferrer said.

However, Ferrer confirmed Thursday that the county has not yet hit its benchmarks in two areas, testing at least 15,000 people per day and ensuring adequate personal protective equipment at hospitals, specifically regarding gowns.

Over the past seven days, a daily average of 13,332 people have been tested. Over 403,000 people total have been tested so far, with 9% returning positive results.

Only 57% of hospitals have a 15-day or more supply of gowns, which is below the target of 60%.

Overall though, Ferrer was encouraged by the data.

“All of this, the progress we’ve made in slowing the spread, the reduction in the average daily deaths and hospitalizations, and retaining capacity in our healthcare system, this lets us now that the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices made by all of you are working.”

CBS Los Angeles

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