Los Angeles County public health officials reported 20 new deaths and 3,780 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, the highest number of positive cases in one day since the summertime.
County officials attributed the growth in cases to increased testing across the county — more than 56,000 tests were processed Friday — yet the positivity rate remains high, at nearly 6%. The new positive cases reported Saturday are the largest one-day figure since mid-July not associated with a backlog of cases, health officials said.
Additionally, there are 966 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with more than a quarter in the ICU. That’s the highest number of hospitalizations in nearly two months, officials said.
Younger people are driving the increase in new coronavirus cases, with those under 50 comprising nearly three-quarters of the cases reported Saturday.
“Many younger people are out socializing with non-household members, raising concerns that asymptomatic young people are helping to spread the virus to more vulnerable people at a time when cases are surging dangerously in the county,” County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “While the effect of the coronavirus on younger people may not be significantly associated with deaths, younger people definitely act as a transmission connector to individuals at a higher risk.”
While younger people make up most of the new coronavirus cases, deaths are concentrated among the elderly. Of the 20 deaths from Saturday, nine were over 80 years old, and two were between 30 and 45, the youngest age range reported. Three-quarters of the new deaths reported Saturday had underlying health conditions.
To date, county health officials have identified 336,549 positive cases of the coronavirus across the county and 7,266 deaths.