UPDATE: Claremont resident tests positive; COVID-19 numbers climb

by Kathryn Dunn | editor@claremont-courier.com

Claremont has its first case of coronavirus, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department said in its press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

On Thursday afternoon, the county said 1,216 cases of novel coronavirus had been identified throughout the county, including 21 deaths.

One person who died was a youth under the age of 18 from Lancaster. The county later said that circumstances related to the death of the minor needed further investigation.

“Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality. Patient privacy prevents our offering further details at this time,” the county said.

Los Angeles County saw 559 new cases on Wednesday and Thursday. Of the 1.216 people who have tested positive for coronavirus, 253 people, or 21 percent, have been hospitalized.

Deaths of individuals testing positive for coronavirus include residents of Culver City, Miracle Mile, Del Rey, Long Beach, Glendale, Gardena, Wilmington, who were all older than 65 with underlying health conditions; a person age 50 to 70 from the city of West Adams; a man in his 30s with underlying health conditions from an unincorporated area outside of Pasadena; a woman in her 60s with underlying health issues who was visiting family in Walnut; a person between the age of 30 to 50 from an undisclosed location; and two other people who the county did not identify by age or city of residence.

Age groups testing positive in LA County are 19 minors under the age of 17; 462 people from 18 to 40 years old; 462 people between the ages of 41 and 65; and 223 people over the age of 65.

Citing privacy laws, no additional information on Claremont’s first case was given by the county. Other nearby cities with residents testing positive are two people in the city of La Verne and one from San Dimas. San Bernardino County has reported a total of 54 cases, including two deaths, as of Thursday afternoon.  

The county public health department said it is investigating all new cases and will notify close contacts that are “household members, intimate partners and healthcare professionals to assess and monitor them. All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined,” the county related. 

“We are sad to report these nine additional deaths today—it is the highest daily number we’ve released to date,” Barbara Ferrer, LA County Public Health director said Thursday in a release. “Unfortunately, we have been expecting this. To the families and loved ones, we are deeply sorry for your loss. This dramatic increase in cases is due in part to increased testing, which is allowing us to identify more positive cases.”

If you are healthy but must conduct essential business in the community—like going to the grocery store, bank or doctor’s office—as ordered by the state, practice social distancing by keeping six feet away from other people.

County officials issued a new order this week demanding that if a person isn’t feeling well (fever, cold, body aches) he or she must self-quarantine and not leave home for any reason, for at least seven days or until 72 hours after being free of fever.

Those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus must self-quarantine for at least 14 days from their last exposure to that person.

For now, businesses deemed “essential” by the state and county remain open, including restaurants for take out orders, banks, gas stations and convenience stores. Even so, the state and county urge residents to stay home to the greatest extent possible.

“It is critically important that everyone adheres to all the social distancing measures and practice good public health hygiene, including washing hands as frequently as possible,” LA County public health officials said.

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