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L.A. County reports more than 1,700 new coronavirus cases, many among younger people

The LA Times logo The LA Times 8/9/2020 Alex Wigglesworth
a person riding a bicycle on a beach: Bicyclists and a runner wear masks on the boardwalk in Santa Monica in July. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times) © (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times) Bicyclists and a runner wear masks on the boardwalk in Santa Monica in July. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 1,789 new cases of the coronavirus and 10 related deaths but said the numbers still did not include a pending backlog of lab reports that could cause a spike in new cases.

Young residents continue to account for an outsize share of the new cases, officials said. Of the infections recorded Sunday, 35% were among residents 30 to 49, and 69% were among residents under 50, the Department of Public Health said in a news release.

Hospitalizations continued to trend downward, with a total of 1,514 confirmed coronavirus patients as of Saturday, compared with 2,017 patients two weeks before.

“As we begin to see the curve flattening again, I want to urge everyone to remain cautious and attentive to the reality of COVID-19; it is not going away any time soon,” Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, said in a statement. “If we return to life as we knew it before the pandemic hit, we will see cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase once again.”

She urged people to stay home as much as possible and refrain from gathering with others from outside their household.

Los Angeles County now has recorded 208,528 cases of the coronavirus and 4,977 deaths.

Orange County added 565 cases of the virus and six deaths on Sunday, bringing its total to 39,641 cases and 726 deaths. Hospitalizations continued to decline there too, with 487 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals as of Saturday, compared with 687 two Saturdays before.

Statewide, there are now 559,540 cases of the coronavirus, and 10,374 people have died. There were 5,636 hospital patients statewide with a confirmed case as of Saturday, a decline of 18% from two weeks before, according to the L.A. Times coronavirus tracker.

Officials have cautioned that the number of cases, including those reported by individual counties, could be artificially low due to glitches in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange electronic database that resulted in hundreds of thousands of lab reports not being uploaded to the database. They are working to fix the system and said that could cause a spike in new cases as the backlog of lab reports is cleared. It’s not clear whether the lost tests are scattered throughout the state or confined to a small number of counties.

Hospitalization and death statistics are not affected by the reporting errors, officials said.

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