Los Angeles County reported the death of a child due to the novel coronavirus today, marking the first time a person under the age of 18 has succumbed to COVID-19 in the US.
The number of coronavirus cases in the state of California has skyrocketed to more than 2,200 as cities on the West Coast scramble to enforce lockdowns, manufacture medical supplies, procure hospital beds and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Los Angeles County reported four additional deaths related to the coronavirus, bringing the county total to 11 today.
Officials confirmed an additional 128 cases, bringing the county’s total to 662.
One of those deaths included the minor who lived in Lancaster, but further details of their identity was not shared.
The child’s death is a ‘devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages’, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A. County Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday press conference.
In San Francisco, the first city in the US to go on lockdown, officials warn ‘the worst is yet to come’ and a surge in cases is expected in a week or two.
In San Francisco there are 131 cases and no deaths, in Santa Clara there are 321 cases and 13 deaths related to the virus. Statewide there are over 2,220 confirmed cases and there have been 49 deaths.
‘The worst is yet to come,’ San Francisco Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said during a news conference on Monday.
‘Every community where the virus has taken hold has seen a surge in the number of coronavirus patients who need to be hospitalized. We expect that to happen in San Francisco soon, in a week or two, or perhaps even less.’
Despite the unfolding crisis, crowds of bold locals have continued to gather at public beaches and parks across the state in defiance of warnings to stay at home.
Governor Gavin Newsom mandated a statewide shelter-in-place order on Thursday March 19, following the steps of Bay Area leaders.
LA County is also bracing for the worst as their case numbers rise with alarming speed.
On March 6, there were five people in the county hospitalized with the novel coronavirus. Two weeks later that number had jumped to 48. By Monday, the total had climbed to 90, according to the Los Angeles Times.
And it’s not just the elderly who are getting sick with COVID-19. In Los Angeles County 80 percent of the cases involve patients between the ages of 18 to 65 and 42 percent are in the 18 to 40 age group.
San Francisco has taken great measures to slow the spread of the virus.
A shelter in place order was placed in the city on Tuesday March 17 that will last until April 7 in an effort to contain the contagious virus. Under the shelter in place orders residents must remain indoors except to get groceries and medicine.
Meanwhile, a person in Kentucky has tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party for people in their 20s in violation of a ban on mass gatherings, according to the state’s governor.
‘I guess thinking they were invincible, flaunting the mass gathering prohibition,’ said Governor Andy Beshear at a press conference on Tuesday. ‘This is one that makes me mad…and it should make you mad.’
‘This is something that no one should be doing across the commonwealth,’ Beshear said as he revealed that the state’s total number of cases had jumped to 163, including the person who attended the banned party.
Beshear did not offer additional details about the infected partygoer, including their exact age or county of residence. So far, four people have died in Kentucky after contracting coronavirus.