Barbara Ferrer, director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, speaks at a roundtable about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in downtown Los Angeles, the United States, Feb. 24, 2020. Los Angeles County officials on Monday expressed solidarity with China in fighting against the novel coronavirus. (Xinhua/Li Ying)
Barbara Ferrer, director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, speaks at a roundtable about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in downtown Los Angeles, the United States, Feb. 24, 2020. Los Angeles County officials on Monday expressed solidarity with China in fighting against the novel coronavirus. (Xinhua/Li Ying)

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County surpassed the 20,000 mark, officials said on Monday.

The authority announced 900 new cases and 29 new deaths in the daily briefing, bringing the totals to 20,417 cases and 942 deaths. Of those cases, 576 were reported in Long Beach and 325 in Pasadena, as the two cities operate their own health departments.

Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, also addressed the racial and economic disparities among the infections and deaths.

Ferrer provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 865 of the victims. The data showed that 14 percent are African American (9 percent of county residents), 18 percent are Asian (15.4 percent of county residents), 28 percent are White (26.1 percent of county residents), 1 percent are Hawaiian native or Pacific Islander, and 1 precent are identified as belonging to a different race or ethnicity.

The death rate is roughly three times higher for residents in high poverty areas, she stated, saying “this data is deeply disturbing and speaks to the need for immediate action in communities with disproportionately high rates of death.”

Meanwhile, she revealed that close to 2,000 healthcare workers in Los Angeles County had tested positive, surging by 26 percent since last week, and 11 of them have died.

To date, more than 123,000 residents in the county had been tested for COVID-19, with a positive rate of about 14 percent, local media reported. Enditem

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