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COVID-19 deaths reach 6,000 in L.A. County

The coronavirus crisis has now caused 6,000 deaths in Los Angeles County, a new milestone as public health officials reiterated warnings Saturday to prevent a “great risk of community spread of COVID-19″ by avoiding crowds and celebrating Labor Day weekend with members of one’s own household.

Public health officials confirmed 24 new deaths, most of them among people age 65 or older who had underlying health conditions. New cases numbered 1,196, bringing the county’s cumulative number to 247,542. There are currently 984 people hospitalized, of which 32% are confirmed cases in the ICU.

Latinos made up 51% of those who have died, with whites at 24%, Asians at 15%, Blacks at 10% and Pacific Islanders at less than 1%, according to race and ethnicity data available in 5,642 cases.

“Each day, we join with those mourning the distressing loss of life to COVID-19 and we keep all who are grieving in our thoughts and prayers,” Barbara Ferrer, L.A. county public health director, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, today marks another devastating low point for L.A. County as we acknowledge that 6,000 residents have lost their lives to COVID-19.”

As Southern Californians headed to beaches to escape a record heatwave, public health officials urged people to avoid crowds, use their own utensils, wear face coverings out of the water and stay physically distanced from those outside their party.

“Any crowded space — even if it’s outdoors — can pose health and safety risks,” the statement said.

Among 20 deaths reported Saturday with age details, half involved people over age 80, four were between ages 65 and 79 and six were between 50 and 64.

Testing results are available for 2,360,795 people, with 10% positive.

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