Managing virus risk vs restarting economy no easy task; updated 6-19

by Steven Felschundneff |

Los Angeles County officials continue to walk a thin line between restarting local economies and persisting in their efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Claremont cases spiked again, rising to 71 as of Wednesday from 66 a week ago, a 14 percent increase. The jump in local confirmed cases is tied to the continuing outbreak at the Country Villa Claremont Healthcare Center, which now has 22 residents and 12 staff testing positive for COVID-19. Two people associated with Country Villa Claremont have died, the same number reported as total deaths in Claremont.

According to a news release on Wednesday from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the number of cases countywide was 77,189, a 13 percent increase from last week, and 2,991 deaths, or a 7.5 percent increase over the same time period.

The county reported 2,129 new cases and 34 deaths, on Wednesday. This is the highest number of new cases reported in a single day, however, about 600 cases are due to a backlog of test results, according to health officials. They also announced that under certain circumstances people can once again visit friends and family in nursing homes. To qualify the institution would have to maintain a four-week period without any new COVID-19 infections and continue to enforce safety protocols including social distancing and wearing of face coverings. Visitors with any symptoms of fever or colds will not be allowed to visit.

Los Angels County remains the number one COVID-19 hotspot in California with 47.5 percent of total cases and 57 percent of deaths. However, as testing increases, the total number of cases has become less reliable as an indication of the coronavirus outbreak, so health officials are increasingly focused on hospitalizations to gauge the spread of the virus. There are 1,420 people currently hospitalized in the county compared with 1,458 a week ago, representing a 2.5 percent drop. Over a 14-day period the number of hospitalizations is essentially flat, however, one month ago the number was significantly higher at 1,763. These positive hospitalization numbers are among the major reasons that the county has been able to reopen businesses and restart the economy.


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