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With coronavirus related deaths spiking in Los Angeles County and “a critical week” ahead, health officials advised residents on Monday to stay at home and avoid shopping to limit the spread of the virus.
“If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether,” said public health department Director Barbara Ferrer, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Officials confirmed 420 new coronavirus cases in the county and 15 deaths on Monday. Over 6,360 cases and 147 deaths have been reported since the outbreak started, per data from Johns Hopkins.
The recommendation comes as President Trump warned of a deadly week ahead and coronavirus task force response coordinator, Deborah Birx, advised all Americans to skip grocery visits if possible.
“This will probably be the toughest week — between this week and next week,” Trump said Saturday at the beginning of his coronavirus task force briefing at the White House.
Amid social distancing measures in L.A. County and over 900 people hospitalized, Ferrer recommended taking steps like covering your mouth and nose with a facecloth and maintaining a distance of at least six feet when around others. She added to “frequently wash your hands.”
“We cannot underestimate COVID-19, a virus that knows no boundaries, infects people of all ages, and can cause significant illness and death, particularly among people who are elderly or who have underlying serious health conditions,” Ferrer said, according to the paper.
The spike in cases could be attributed to an easier path to get tested, as well as an increase in testing in the county. Roughly 52,000 people have been tested in L.A. County which makes 40 percent of all tests administered in the entire state.
“Now that doesn’t mean we’ll have a test for everybody tomorrow,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “but it means that our capacity is now greater than the number that we are getting through the requirements that we had.”
Meanwhile, the city of Los Angeles only had a 7 percent increase in cases on Monday, it’s first single-digit increase in three weeks, the paper reported. The mayor cautioned the small increase was due to fewer people working and getting tested on Sunday.
“But before we get too cocky, before we say ‘Oh, that’s great’ and ‘We can head out,’ remember what Dr. Ferrer said: This is a critical week,’” Garcetti added, according to the Los Angeles Times.
California has seen over 16,300 COVID-19 cases and at least 388 deaths, as of early Tuesday.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report