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Coronavirus Southern California update: Health officials confirm 11 additional deaths, 521 new cases in LA County

Los Angeles County officials on Friday confirmed an additional 11 deaths and 521 cases, bringing the county's death toll to 89 and case total to 4,566.

County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said seven of the individuals who died were over the age of 65, all of which had underlying health conditions. Three people were between 41 and 65 years old, and one person between the ages of 18 and 40, highlighting the fact that virus does not discriminate based on age.

The county is investigating coronavirus outbreaks at more Los Angeles News  than 67 institutional settings, including nursing homes, assisted-living centers, shelters, treatment centers, supported-living facilities, jails and prisons.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the latest coronavirus numbers for California, with 10,710 cases, 2,188 hospitalized and 901 people in ICU -- a 10.4% increase from the previous day. Cases in California are expected to peak in the beginning to middle of May, according to Newsom.

Following the state's pledge of $150 million in homeless aid, Newsom said 7,000 hotel rooms have been secured to house the homeless in California, with the goal of 15,000 rooms.

Chef Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen will provide meals for homeless individuals amid the coronavirus pandemic, Newsom said.

He added that Californians who looking to volunteer, including to donate blood, can go do so by signing up here.

Additionally, Newsom said 38 million N95 masks have been distributed in the state so far.

Los Angeles County opened three more drive-up coronavirus testing sites Friday, while planning continues for at least three more.

The new sites are at the Pomona Fairplex, the South Bay Galleria and the Antelope Valley Mall. Testing is by appointment only. Walk-up appointments are not available.

Additional sites in Northridge, Long Beach, Lancaster and Pasadena are in the planning stages, and sites in Lancaster and Glendale are already operating.

The county's COVID-19 testing is limited to the most vulnerable residents -- those who are age 65 and older and/or have underlying health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, chronic lung disease, or moderate to severe asthma.

Testing is also limited to those who are immunocompromised, including as a result of cancer treatment, and/or have been subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period because they have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case of coronavirus and have more than seven days of the two-week quarantine period remaining.

Anyone interested in getting tested must first register on the screening website,
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore says officers are going to start wearing surgical masks or non-medical face coverings in public. "This is for our safety, and for your safety," Moore tweeted. Mayor Eric Garcetti has already recommended that all Angelenos wear a face covering when in public.

Officials in Los Angeles County on Thursday confirmed an additional 13 deaths and 534 cases, bringing the county's death toll to 78 and case total to 4,045.

Twelve of the individuals who died were over the age of 65, 11 of which had underlying health conditions, according to county public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. One person was between 41 and 65 years old, prompting her to reiterate that the virus does not discriminate based on age.

"All people who get infected with COVID-19 at any age can have very serious illness, and that could mean that they're required to have a hospitalization," she said.

Two-thirds of those hospitalized have no underlying health conditions and span all aged. Five individuals in intensive care are under the age of 35, some of which also don't have preexisting health conditions.

More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a report from the Labor Department showed. The figure for last week is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week.

The U.S. government has ramped up security for Dr. Anthony Fauci, as the nation's top medical expert on the coronavirus pandemic faces threats to his personal safety. Upon recommendation of the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Department of Justice in recent days approved a special deputization request from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for more than half a dozen special agents to provide protective services to Fauci, a Justice Department official told ABC News

Ventura County, a region that has not been as hard hit by the virus as its neighboring counties, is taking steps to protect farm workers who are considered essential during the statewide order to stay home.

Officials on Wednesday announced that each farm worker will receive an card to identify them as such. Farm workers have also been practicing physical distancing, working the fields on every other row, and have also been given longer lunch breaks.

As of Wednesday evening, the county has confirmed 160 total COVID-19 cases, most in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard. The region has seen a total of 5 coronavirus-related deaths.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is recommending that Angelenos wear non-medical face coverings or masks while in public for essential reasons.

During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Garcetti said physical distancing guidelines will remain in place, even if you wear a mask or cover your face.
Medical-grade masks, such as N95 masks, should be reserved for Press Release Distribution Services In Los Angeles medical professions on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis in order to avoid any shortage.

Additionally, Garcetti announced that he is instructing the L.A. Department of Water and Power to shut off service to any non-essential businesses that have violated the "Safer at Home" order. He said eight-city businesses have been referred to the city attorney for misdemeanor charges.

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