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Los Angeles County will see a 65 percent increase in COVID-19 testing for communities considered to be “hot spots.” Montebello, South Gate, Azusa, Panorama City, Compton, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Pomona, El Monte and East Los Angeles will all see an increase in testing centers.

Data collected by county testing sites show that black and Latino communities have not only had high positive case rates, but mortality rates as well. 

“This data is alarming and requires urgent focus to do more to expand access to testing and address the health equity issues that COVID-19 makes tragically clear every day,”Christina Ghaly, L.A. County Department of Health Services director said. “We must remember that testing is only one factor. There are underlying reasons why communities of color are disproportionately impacted by worse outcomes of COVID-19 — long-standing structural and systemic issues, including social determinants of health, that the County is working to address and mitigate amidst this pandemic.”

Race/ethnicity statistics have been available for 3,701 of the 3,988 deaths, and 46 percent of them have been Latino residents. White residents follow with 26 percent, with 15 percent Asian, 11 percent African American and 1 percent Pacific Islanders.

A day after the announced testing increase, a record high 4,592 daily cases was recorded Thursday, with 59 deaths. People over 65 years old accounted for 34 of the deaths, while 48 had underlying health conditions. 

People between 18 and 40 years old now make up 20 percent of the 2,173 hospitalizations, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. 

To date, the county has seen 147,468 positive cases and a total of 3,988 deaths. Ninety-three percent of the people who died had underlying health conditions.