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LA county health experts urge extreme precautions amid unprecedented COVID-19 spread: 'Assume that this deadly invisible virus is everywhere'


This does not bode well

Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said this week that Los Angeles County residents should follow new, even more strict guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic in order to tamp down the community spread of the deadly virus.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently announced a new stay-at-home order affecting all individuals living in California due to the spike in coronavirus cases.

What are the details?

In a Tuesday report from the Los Angeles Times, Ferrer said that people run the risk of contracting COVID-19 by just leaving their homes.

"Everyone should keep in mind that community transmission rates are so high that you run the risk of an exposure whenever you leave your home," she explained. "Assume that this deadly, invisible virus is everywhere, looking for a willing host."

The Times reported that "the risk of getting coronavirus in Los Angeles County has never been greater" with approximately 1 in every 5 residents testing positive for the virus.

"The anticipated surge from the winter holiday gatherings is done," Ferrer added. "And tens upon tens of thousands of people are paying the price with new COVID-19 infections. The increases in cases are likely to continue for weeks to come, as a result of holiday and New Year's Eve parties and returning travelers."

Ferrer isn't the only one urging residents to hunker down for the time being.

"We are in the midst of an unprecedented and dangerous surge," Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said. "Despite what protesters claim, this is not a hoax."

What else?

New suggestions to prevent the spread include not ever removing face masks while working or shopping for groceries, to avoid gatherings with people not in your household, to wash and sanitize your hands on the hour, to take a break from in-person shopping, and more.

"It's better to be lonely than to be sick. It's better to care for others by following all the rules than to end up passing along the virus to someone who gets hospitalized or even dies," Ferrer added.

The Times reported that the county is now averaging 184 deaths per day over the preceding week, which equates to a COVID-19-related death every eight minutes. As of last week, the county was also averaging about 13,500 newly confirmed cases per day.

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