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As L.A. County deaths pass 2,000, a warning that ‘the virus is still out there waiting’

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As L.A. County deaths pass 2,000, a warning that 'the virus is still out there waiting'

Ventura County has become the largest county in Southern California to resume dine-in service at restaurants and in-store shopping. As large swaths of California began reopening shopping malls, restaurants and other businesses this week, the coronavirus threat in Los Angeles County remains high as the death toll surpassed 2,000 people on Thursday.

More than 40 of California’s 58 counties have now been approved to expand retail operations as their virus conditions improved, with more expected to reopen their economies in the coming days.

But officials expect the progress to be slower in Los Angeles County, which accounts for nearly 60% of the state’s total deaths and almost half of the more than 86,000 confirmed infections. The county’s death toll rose Thursday to 2,016, with more than 42,000 confirmed cases.

“This is a very sad milestone for us,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said she hoped officials could ease stay-at-home restrictions soon but urged caution.

“I wish that we could speed things up,” she said. "The virus is still out there waiting for us to let our guard down."

Despite the average daily death toll, which has remained at a stubborn plateau for weeks, there were new signs that even Los Angeles was beginning to turn the corner. The coronavirus transmission rate in the nation’s most populous county, home to 56% of COVID-19 deaths in California, is now in its best position since the magnitude of the outbreak became clear in March.At the start of the pandemic’s arrival in L.A., the transmission rate of the coronavirus was high; on average, every one person infected went on to infect […]

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