Younger adults are the “hardest hit” groups in the community and continue to drive up the number of new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, health officials said at a news conference on Wednesday.
People between the ages of 18 and 49 make up nearly 60% of new coronavirus cases, according to health officials.
Since the beginning of June, the case rate for people in the age group of 30 to 49 nearly tripled and the case rate for people between the ages of 18 to 29 nearly quadrupled, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.
“This is also the age group that is most likely to be attending the large parties that we keep seeing,” Ferrer said. “Gatherings of people from different households are such a bad idea at this point in time.”
Residents should comply with the new “legally binding” health order prohibiting gatherings, including parties, Ferrer said.
“Violation of or failure to comply with the Health Officer Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both and the Department of Public Health works with residents, businesses, city officials and law enforcement to be sure residents are aware of and adhere to the life-saving directives in the order,” the public health department said in a statement.
In terms of enforcement, Ferrer said the department is “working hard” and responding to thousands of complaints related to non-compliance each week.
“We cannot just rely on enforcement,” she said. “The better strategy is for people to help us by taking responsibility.”
While Ferrer said she remains “cautiously optimistic” about the current situation, she said there have been significant issues with state reported data on cases leading to an undercount of cases.
The data: California reported 5,295 new Covid-19 cases and 202 deaths on Wednesday. The state’s health department warned that cases are being underreported due to issues with the state’s electronic laboratory reporting system.
Ferrer said the missing data hinders “our efforts to monitor and reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
Los Angeles County reported 2,347 new cases and 68 new deaths on Wednesday. The county has a total of 197,912 positive cases and 4,825 deaths.
California has a total of 524,722 coronavirus cases and 9,703 deaths.
Note: These figures were released by California Department of Public Health/Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.