LA County advising residents to wear masks at home if living with vulnerable people

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One year ago this week, China announced the first death from a new mystery virus in Wuhan.

Now, COVID-19 has infected 90 million people and claimed close to 2 million lives in an unrelenting march around the world.

The virus has reached every continent - with cases confirmed in 191 countries.

Southern California remains one of the hardest-hit areas of the United States during the surge which began in November.

In Los Angeles County, about 10 people test positive for the virus every minute. And one person dies from the virus every eight minutes.

On Monday, the county reported an additional 137 deaths from the virus and 12,387 new cases.

With intensive care units having almost no available beds, officials are again warning people to take every precaution against the virus.

Among the newest recommendations: Those who leave the home for work or essential services and live with someone who is more vulnerable - particularly the elderly or someone with underlying health conditions - should wear a face covering even while at home.

"It will just add a layer of protection while we try to get through the surge," said county public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

Another new development: Multiple gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for the virus, apparently after coming into contact with a staff member who had been asymptomatic before testing positive.

It is believed to be the first known cases among primates in the United States and possibly the world. The gorillas have been coughing but are otherwise in good condition, zoo officials say.
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