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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Even with cases leveling off, social distancing needs to continue

by Kathryn Dunn | editor@claremont-courier.com

Los Angeles County is essentially one month into life with coronavirus. It was March 4 when the public health department said it had found seven cases of COVID-19. As of Thursday afternoon, there have been 7.530 cases found across all areas of LA County, including 198 deaths.

The county said 23 percent of the positive cases, or 1,714 people, have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. Of those tested so far, which the county estimates at 36,000 people, 15 percent had a positive result. Testing is still limited to those at high risk or are experiencing symptoms or were exposed to the virus through a close contact.

Claremont has eight cases, or a rate of 21.93 per 100,000. The county notes that these cases are not attributed to anyone living in unincorporated areas of the city. The city of La Verne is about the same with seven cases or a rate of 21.03.

Melrose reports 168 cases (a rate of 216.23), the highest number of residents in LA county with coronavirus. However, Crestview—a westside neighborhood of about 10,000 people in the city of Los Angeles—currently has the highest rate at 272.72 per 100,000, with 31 residents diagnosed.

The first death from coronavirus in Los Angeles county was reported on March 11. The following Sunday, March 15, Governor Gavin Newsom set new guidelines for California, including closing all bars and nightclubs, while limiting public gatherings to 10 people or less. The county followed on March 16 with an official order, although it had identified just 69 cases, 10 of which were due to community transmission.

Recovery rates in LA County are quite high, with nearly 97 percent or 7.332 of the 7.530 people surviving. And this week, new cases seemed to have stabilized a bit—Wednesday saw 550 new cases and 620 were identified by Thursday afternoon, indicating that the curve is beginning to stabilize when compared to the more than 700 that were identified on average each day last week.

Drive up testing at Pomona Fairplex launched over the weekend, however

it is still limited to people with symptoms, or people who have been prevented from working because of contact with someone who has been infected, the county said. People older than 65 years of age or those with underlying chronic health issues, get priority for same or next day testing appointments.

To find out if you are eligible for testing, you can take a short questionnaire on the county website by visiting https://lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs.

The county’s public health officials say the best defense is still to practice physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and stay home. If you must go out, as of Tuesday, the county says all people are to wear a face covering while out in public.

A cloth face covering can be tied to your head with straps or elastic, or simply wrapped around your lower face, as long as it covers your nose and mouth. Many materials are acceptable, like cotton, silk or linen, the county said. Hand sewn masks are acceptable, as are scarves and bandanas or coverings made from t-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.

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