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Coronavirus cases are doubling every four days, officials say

LOS ANGELES — The reported number of coronavirus cases is increasing so rapidly in Los Angeles County that Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “They are now doubling every four days.”  

On April 1, there were 513 new cases reported in one day, bringing the total to 3,518 coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County. There were also 12 new deaths bringing the total to 66 in the county. This includes cases reported by Long Beach and Pasadena health organizations.

“Over a 48-hour period, we have seen 1,000 new cases,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health during her daily update April 1. “We have 133 new cases reported in Long Beach and 33 in Pasadena.”

According to Ferrer, nine of the 12 deaths were people over the age of 65.

“The other two deaths occurred among people who were younger,” she said. “One person was between the ages of 18-40 years of age and the other person was between the ages of 41-65. Both of these people had underlying health conditions.”

About 88% of the people who have died of COVID-19 had underlying health conditions.

Of those cases, 32 individuals between the ages of 0-17 have died, 1,228 have died between the ages of 18-40; 1,399 have died between the ages of 41-65, 669 people have died over the age of 65 and 24 deaths are unknown.

Reportedly, there are five new positive cases of the virus among the homeless.

Two different institutional settings that help and serve the homeless reported two staff members as testing positive.

More than 21,000 people have been tested in L.A. County and testing capabilities have been improved, according to Ferrer.

“There is increasing evidence that people with no symptoms can have COVID-19 and pass it on the others,” she said. “Staying home and social distancing is the most important tools we have.”

“If people around the country do not continue social distancing, COVID-19 could reportedly kill between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans, which is twice the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War,” Garcetti said March 31, echoing what was reported by White House coronavirus task force officials.

During his update, Garcetti said there were currently 1, 382 hospital beds available and that he was still “trying to get more ventilators.”

Garcetti said 10,027 tests have been completed and that soon testing would be open to “anybody in L.A. County.”

During his April 1 update, Gov. Gavin Newsom, who reiterated the continued need for social distancing, said the state has 8,155 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, 1,855 hospitalized with 774 cases currently in intensive care units.

Newsom said those numbers “drive our planning focus disproportionately.”

He also announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year.

“With this new modeling, with the dynamic nature of the modeling we’ve been using for many, many weeks, it seems I think, self-evident, that we should not prepare to bring our children back into the school setting,” said Newsom, who has four children under the age of 10.

“The right thing to do for our children, the right thing to do for the parents, for households, for the communities in which they reside, is to make sure we are preparing today to set our school system up where we are increasing class time, but increasing it at home and fulfilling our obligation to distance learning, and other mechanisms to make sure that we’re are educating our kids but not doing so physically on school sites.”

On the national level, top government scientists battling the coronavirus reportedly estimated that the deadly pathogen could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans, in spite of the disruptive social distancing measures that have closed schools, banned large gatherings, limited travel and forced people to stay in their homes.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the coronavirus response, displayed that grim projection at the White House March 30, calling it “our real number” but pledging to do everything possible to reduce those numbers even further.

Government officials have stated the U.S. has more known cases of the virus than in any other country in the world with more than 200,000 being reported. The U.S. death toll is nearing 5,000 with more than 8,800 individuals recovering.

The Center for Disease Control is expected to come out with new guidelines regarding whether everyone should wear masks later this week.