LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County on Monday reported its lowest number of daily coronavirus cases since March 26, with only 239 new cases since the day prior.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted that historically, the numbers reported on Monday's can be lower because of limited testing over the weekend, but said the lower numbers are a "good thing" nevertheless.
She added that the lower number of new cases does not mean that residents should stop taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the county now stands at 9,420.
The county's health department also reported an additional 25 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the county's death count to 320 and mortality rate to 3.4%.
Of the newly reported deaths, 11 were individuals over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions, 12 were individuals between the ages of 41 and 65, 11 of which had underlying health conditions. Public Health said they were still waiting for data on the remaining two deaths.
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 262 people (82 percent of the cases); 33% of deaths occurred among Latinx residents, 33% among White residents, 18% among Asian residents, 14% among African American residents, and 2% among residents identifying with other races, according to Public Health
On Monday, Ferrer clarified for the public that those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, those who have symptoms and those who are waiting for test results need to self-isolate for seven days and an additional 72-hours after fever and symptoms subside.
Echoing guidance from the White House, last week, Ferrer said people should try to avoid leaving their homes altogether for the next few weeks as the pandemic is expected to worsen across the country.
"If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether," she said.
Public Health advised residents against leaving their homes for groceries or medications, encouraging residents to arrange to have them delivered instead, if necessary.
Public Health continues to stress to the public that while a majority of those who have died from COVID-19 in the county had underlying health conditions, not everyone does. Residents are urged to continue to take the necessary precautions in order to protect themselves from the virus.
Health officials say that social distancing remains our best defense against the virus, and all residents are instructed to abide by current measures in place across the state. Social distancing is not only about preventing the illness itself, but rather, slowing the rate at which people get sick.
On April 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it would be recommending people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
The use of face coverings is believed to help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus, without knowing it, from transmitting it to others.
Last week, the county extended its "safer-at-home" order until May 15. The health order now requires all residents in Los Angeles County to wear a face-covering when entering an essential business. It also requires all essential business employees to wear a face-covering if their work involves interacting with others.
This comes as more evidence is emerging that coronavirus infections are being spread by people who have no clear symptoms. Recently, the CDC changed how it was defining risk of infection for Americans, saying anyone may be a considered a carrier, whether they have symptoms or not.
In accordance with new guidelines from the CDC, Public Health said that anyone who begins to experience symptoms must contact those they were in contact with up to 48 hours prior to having symptoms in order for them to self-isolate.
Public Health requests that anyone who experiences any symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate for the 14-day quarantine period in order to help slow the spread.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should call their healthcare provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
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Public Health has issued the following guidance during this time of increased spread:
"If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days or until 72 hours after being fever free, whichever is longer. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick."
Click here for a list of locations of confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County.