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Fri Sep 4, 2020, 02:33 PM

Hundreds more have died at home in L.A. Experts say COVID-19 is the culprit

In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas — charged with reviewing the causes of nearly 10,000 deaths a year — saw a disturbing trend: the number of people dying at home had jumped drastically.

Though he did not know the cause at the time, and some mystery still remains, Lucas now believes he was seeing firsthand the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic which would soon sweep the country — killing more than 180,000 Americans by the end of August.

When COVID-19 cases began to surface in the U.S., home deaths started to escalate and continued to build through the following months, according to records compiled by Lucas’s office and obtained by The Times.

In the first six months of the year, there were 330 more home deaths in Los Angeles County than in a typical year, according to a Times analysis. In April alone, the number jumped by nearly 60% over April of last year —


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