Authorities reported Wednesday that So far 324 health workers in Los Angeles County have tested positive for coronavirus, two of which have died.
The announcement came when Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer confirmed in her daily report that there had been 620 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 29 new deaths across the county.
That brings the Los Angeles County total to 7,530 cases and 198 deaths. The death rate increased to 2.6%, compared to 2.4% on Tuesday, CBS 2 reports.
Ferrer said that of the 324 health workers who tested positive, approximately 58% worked in hospitals, 16% worked in outpatient centers, and 6% worked in emergency medical services. Nurses were more likely to test positive, followed by doctors, EMS paramedics, and then EMTs.
There has been a large national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) among health workers.
On Tuesday night, the Governor of California Gavin Newsom announced that the state had signed contracts with manufacturers and non-profit organizations to obtain around 200 million masks per month outside Asia. That includes 150 million N95 masks and 50 million surgical masks.
Meanwhile, of the 29 new deaths, 17 of the victims were over 65, and 16 of them had underlying health problems. One person was between 18 and 40 years old, also with underlying conditions. Seven were between the ages of 41 and 65, five of whom had underlying conditions. There is no immediate information on four other victims, Ferrer said.
Meanwhile, 1,033 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County.
At least 36,500 people have been evaluated. However, Ferrer noted that there has been an increase in test sites in the past few days and there is a delay in reporting, which means that those numbers are likely to increase dramatically.
“The past few days … there has been a dramatic increase in testing sites and testing availability,” said Ferrer. “Our numbers will not reflect this for a few days because we will not have the test results yet.”
The county hopes to reach the goal of screening 10,000 people per day.
596 cases have been reported in 131 different “institutional settings”, including nursing homes, assisted living centers, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, treatment centers, and supportive living centers. And there are 12 cases among the county’s homeless population. There are also 43 confirmed cases at the Los Angeles County Jail facility and another 10 at state jails.