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Coronavirus deaths rise in Los Angeles, Orange County

Southern California counties continue to report high coronavirus death tolls.

Orange County reported 31 new deaths on Saturday. Los Angeles County counted 50, with which officials opposed last week, when an average of 38 people died every day.

“The death toll we are seeing is a sad reminder of the devastation caused by COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County health director, in a statement.

Across the state, at least 214 coronavirus-related fatal incidents were reported on Friday, according to a Los Angeles Times count, the fifth time in July in California broke a one-day record in reported cases and the third time this week. The record was last beaten on Wednesday when 1

76 deaths were recorded.

The average number of COVID-19 daily deaths in California for the seven days that ended on Friday was 127. Last week, the number was 104.

Experts say deaths are a delayed indicator of the impact of the virus, which means they reflect infections acquired weeks earlier. COVID-19 cases have been on the rise since late May, when California reopened the economy and many people have returned to old routines.

Four of the deaths reported by Orange County were resident in specialized nursing facilities, and two were resident in assisted living facilities, authorities said. The county also reported 637 additional virus cases, bringing its total to 36,833 cases and 649 deaths. There were fewer patients in county hospitals than four days ago – 546, compared with 626 on Tuesday.

Los Angeles County reported 2,303 new virus cases, bringing its total to 190,836 virus cases and 4,669 related deaths.

As in Orange County, hospitalizations continued to decline slightly. There were 1,856 confirmed cases of coronavirus in county hospitals and nearly 31% in ICU, compared with 2,022 patients four days ago.

Almost 1.8 million people have been tested and have received their results, with around 10% positive tests.

Officials formulated another reason for people and businesses to take measures to limit disease transmission. They include wearing face cover and staying as much as possible at home, as well as implementing infection control protocols and reporting outbreaks to the public health department, authorities said.

“Only by doing our part and working together can we reduce the transmission to a lower speed which allows more people to return to work and allows our children to return to their classes,” said Ferrer. “I hope that as you make your decisions on how to spend this beautiful weekend, you will do so by understanding your power to influence the health of the whole community.”

Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.

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