The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 55 new deaths and 733 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. That’s about 800 fewer new infections than were announced Wednesday.
L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted that Wednesday’s number included results from new testing in institutional settings and also a lag in test results from over the weekend, which likely accounted for the fluctuation.
To date, the county has identified 23,182 total cases of COVID-19 and 1,111 deaths from the virus.
Those numbers came on the same day that the CDC released a three-step “Reopening America decision tool” for cleaning and disinfecting public places. That guidance boils down roughly to 1.) determine what needs to be cleaned 2.) clean using the appropriate disinfectant and 3.) maintain and revise these practices.
Conversely, California Governor Gavin Newsom closed all Orange County beaches on Thursday, citing photos and widespread reports of crowds on the sand during last weekend’s heat wave, especially in Newport Beach.
On Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that free coronavirus testing will be available to all L.A. residents. The testing is made possible through a partnership with Sean Penn’s CORE organization, which has been independently setting up testing sites across L.A. in recent weeks.
Garcetti said this would make Los Angeles the first city in the U.S. to offer free coronavirus testing to all residents, whether they’re experiencing symptoms or not. Garcetti later expanded the testing to include all residents in L.A. County.