1st coronavirus death reported in L.A. County; another case of community spread suspected

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Los Angeles County reported its first coronavirus-related death on Wednesday and announced six new cases, including one suspected of being community-acquired.

The person who died was a woman over 60 who had recently traveled extensively over the past month, including having a long layover in South Korea, L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a news conference Wednesday.

The woman wasn’t a resident and was in the county visiting friends.

Officials also reported six additional positive cases, bringing the total number of cases up to 27 in the county, including three cases reported by the city of Long Beach, which has its own public health department.

Three of the newly reported cases were people who were in the same household as a previously identified coronavirus case in the county. One of those people is hospitalized.

One case involves a person who had traveled to France and returned home sick and another involves someone who had traveled to a religious conference in another state and came in contact with an infected person.

Ferrer said one of the new cases is believed to be L.A. County’s second case of community-acquired infection. That person is hospitalized.

“We all know that there are more cases in our community that have yet to be diagnosed and we need everyone to help us try to slow the spread of this infection,” Ferrer said.

The department said that in the absence of a vaccine, social distancing is “the next best tool” to slow down the spread of an infectious disease.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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