LA County sees increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations

L.A. County's health director warns if people and businesses don't follow safety orders, it could slow or even reverse the move to reopen the economy.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As Los Angeles County surpasses 90,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, officials are warning of the rise in hospitalization numbers and an increase in the positivity rate as more businesses reopen.

"We've seen this week that cases are increasing, hospitalizations are increasing, our positivity rate is increasing and we know that the virus is spreading in the community," L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Thursday.

The positivity rate is considered a key indicator of community spread. L.A. County's positivity rate is 8%, but in the last few days, it's risen to about 8.4%.

"The preliminary hospital demand model, which we'll release on Monday, is also showing an upward trend in cases and in hospitalizations," Ferrer said.

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L.A. County's health director warns if people and businesses don't follow safety orders, it could slow or even reverse the move to reopen the economy.



Ferrer warns if people and businesses don't follow safety orders, it could slow or even reverse the move to reopen the economy.

"Wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance from others not in your household," Ferrer said. "Avoid crowds. There should be no parties."

Health officials say they're also dealing with local businesses to ensure compliance with safety standards in place.

RELATED: CA reports 32% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations over 14 days, Gov. Newsom says

In L.A. County, the average age of those infected is trending younger. Ferrer said it's up to the public, particularly those who run businesses that have reopened, to take action.

"Our guidelines are not suggestions, they are mandates," she said. "If you see someone in your business that's not wearing a face covering, take action. If you see large groups of people congregating in your business, question whether those folks truly came from the same household."

As for the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom says hospitalizations are also continuing to climb, up 32% over the past two weeks.

California's rate of positivity is 5.1%, compared to Arizona's rate at 23%, Florida's at 14.4% and Texas at 11.4%.

However, in the last seven days, California's positivity rate has gone up to 5.7%.
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