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COVID-19: US Continues To See Rise, LA County Confirmed Cases Now Top 800




A nurse in the COVID-19 unit of MedStar St. Mary's Hospital check the fit of protective equipment before entering a patient's room March 24, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland.
A nurse in the COVID-19 unit of MedStar St. Mary's Hospital check the fit of protective equipment before entering a patient's room March 24, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

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COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread in many countries, including the United States, with cases worldwide now topping 491,000. Since last weekend, the U.S. has had the third-highest total confirmed cases in the world. The number of confirmed cases here now stands at 69,210 as of 7 a.m. Thursday.

In L.A. County today, Public Health director Barbara Ferrer had sobering news to report: The mortality rate for coronavirus now sits at 1.5% nationwide and 1% in L.A. County. That rate is higher than what we experience with annual flu cases.

The county has 266 new confirmed cases in the last 48 hours, bringing the total so far to at least 812. That includes three new COVID-19 related deaths, all people older than 65 and with underlying health conditions. As the numbers continue to go up, state and local officials have shut down more beach parking lots. Many cities have moved to bar recreation and sports at parks and close hiking trails. These moves came after too many people crowded public spaces over the weekend despite dire warnings about the virus spreading rapidly. Health officials continue to stress that they are seeing most cases in people under the age of 65. Ferrer has said 80% of the cases have been people between 18-65, and 42% have been people between 18-40.

With files from LAist. Read the full story here.

Guest: 

Peter Chin-Hong, M.D., infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the UCSF Medical Center; he tweets @PCH_SF