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Top LA Health Official Fights Back Tears While Discussing ‘Incalculable’ COVID-19 Toll

The heartbreaking toll of the COVID-19 pandemic was laid bare in an unusually emotional moment during a Wednesday news conference in California, where the coronavirus continues to surge at a record-breaking rate.

Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s top health official, fought back tears while discussing the impact the coronavirus has had on her community.   

“Over 8,000 people who were beloved members of their families are not coming back,” said the county’s public health director, her voice breaking. “And their deaths are an incalculable loss to their friends and their family, as well as our community.”

At least 75 people in Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the U.S., died of complications from the coronavirus on Wednesday. This brings the county’s total death toll to 8,075, KABC-TV reported, noting that its average daily tally of coronavirus fatalities has increased by more than 250% in just over a month.

California reported a record-breaking number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths on Tuesday, recording 35,400 cases and 219 deaths in one day.

Ferrer urged Californians to be “extremely careful and diligent” in the coming weeks to protect themselves and their loved ones from the coronavirus.

“There is a great deal of community transmission, and you are at risk of becoming affected when you’re out of your home and you’re around other people,” she warned.

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