Virus outbreak continues to subside even as deaths increase

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Across Los Angeles County the overwhelming surge of the coronavirus that paralyzed hospitals and sent residents back into a stay-at-home order is in full retreat, with all the major indicators falling substantially from the peak just over one month ago.

Most importantly, the daily hospitalizations rate is down about 40 percent with 5,259 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and the three-day average hospitalizations rate at 5,328. Also, the county reported 3,763 new virus cases on Tuesday compared with well over 15,000 just a few weeks ago.

“These promising decreases are solely attributed to your hard work,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said during a news conference on Monday. “For almost two months you limited your actions, you turned down invitations, you stayed at home as much as possible. With the limited health officer order now in place, there is an opportunity to return to some of the activities that you missed.”

The good news is tempered considerably as the county reaches the grim total of 17,057 deaths. This number is even more tragic when one considers that on December 30 the county passed the 10,000 deaths mark—and on Tuesday another 205 people lost their struggle with COVID-19.

The county is now reporting 2,089 cumulative cases in Claremont and 43 deaths. This includes 89 new infections in the last week and three deaths.

“Public Health cautions Los Angeles County is at a critical moment in the pandemic. The revised Los Angeles County health officer order  issued on Friday, is a detailed blueprint for everyone, businesses and individuals, to ensure we see a continued downward trend in the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The County remains in the most restrictive state tier—purple—because the number of new daily cases remain very high and transmission of COVID-19 is widespread throughout our county,” public health officials said in a statement.

They caution people to avoid “super spreader” Super Bowl parties because it is still not safe to gather in other people’s homes, particularly unmasked and for long periods of time. Now that restaurants are offering outdoor dining again, people should only go out to eat with members of their immediate family and wear a mask when a server comes to the table.

“The success of the county’s recovery depends on businesses following the rules. Businesses that are not adhering to safety protocols to protect workers and customers increase the risk for COVID-19 spread. A list of non-compliant businesses that received citations can be found online,” health officials said. “Unfortunately, not adhering to health officer orders will likely cause another increase in cases that we can’t tolerate.”

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