LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County reported another 521 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, raising the cumulative case count to 1,213,784.
An additional 56 fatalities were also reported, bringing the death toll to 22,777.
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More than 70% of the new cases are from people under the age of 50, while 93% of the deaths reported were people over the age of 50, according to the county.
“Many younger people are out socializing with non-household members, raising concerns that asymptomatic young people are unknowingly helping to spread the virus to more vulnerable people,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “Though we are making good progress in our vaccination efforts, we are entering a potentially perilous time if people let their guard down. It is important that we remain disciplined in our adherence to use of face masks, physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and delaying any non-essential travel. This is particularly important with the recent movement of the county to the red tier and as restrictions get lifted.”
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped from 827 on Friday to 792 on Saturday. There are 216 people in ICUs.
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Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county health department, said Friday that if vaccine supplies dramatically increase by late April or early May — as predicted by President Joe Biden — the county could move rather quickly through the rest of the population.
“To ensure we are prepared for this increase, we have begun planning with our vaccine provider network to expand countywide vaccination capacity to more than 1 million doses per week,” Simon said. “Recently, President Biden made the announcement of opening up vaccinations to everyone over the age of 16 by May 1. We look forward (to working) with the state to meet this goal.”
But he also warned that despite the progress in vaccinations, “we are entering a perilous time.”
“In Europe and some regions of the U.S. there has been a recent resurgence in cases and hospitalizations,” he said. “In addition, spread of virus variants remains a major concern. For this reason, it is imperative that we remain disciplined in our adherence to the use of face masks, physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings and delaying any non-essential travel.”
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