Pasadena public health officials reported three new detected COVID-19 infections and no new deaths on Tuesday, but cautioned that testing results may still not be keeping up with reality due to recent heatwaves, wildfires, smoky conditions, and resulting test center closures.
Pasadena had recorded 2,479 novel coronavirus infections and 121 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
And while the rate of new cases at the local, county, and state levels have all appeared relatively low on paper since the Labor Day weekend, authorities expressed concern that the testing framework simply hasn’t caught up.
“We still think with everything that’s going on, there’s still staggered testing,” Pasadena city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. Several testing sites throughout Los Angeles County have seen closures recently due to smoke and unhealthy air conditions.
Pasadena had averaged 5.1 new infections per day over the prior week, according to city data.
Huntington Hospital reported treating 33 COVID patients on Tuesday. Four tests were pending.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 474 new COVID-19 infections and 47 additional fatalities.
“The lower number of new cases, in part, reflect reduced testing due to wildfire smoke and recent extreme weather,” the agency said in a written statement.
Tuesday’s report raised L.A. County’s totals to 255,049 infections and 6,273 deaths.
The virus continues to keep its strongest foothold among younger age groups.
“Nearly 70 percent of all cases have occurred in people under the age of 50,” the county statement said.
Those who have become exposed to large groups were urged to get tested, even if they feel fine.
“It is important to know if you are positive because you can transmit the virus without knowing you are infected,” the statement said. “Younger people could unknowingly spread the disease to older and more vulnerable people with underlying health conditions who can suffer more severe illness.”
But the young, too, can suffer severe effects or even death as a result of COVID-19 infection, said L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer.
“Tragically, we are reporting another death of a person who was under 29 years old,” she said. “Nearly 450 COVID-19 deaths have occurred among individuals under the age of 50 years old. This is why it is important for everyone, including younger residents, to take precautions every time they leave their homes and to get tested if they have been exposed to the virus.”
County health officials said 772 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized on Tuesday, with 33 percent of them in intensive care units.
“The downward trend in hospitalizations continues,” according to the county statement.
Statewide, authorities reported 2,235 new COVID-19 cases and 66 new deaths on Tuesday, raising the state’s totals to 760,013 infections and 14,451 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
The state’s average positivity rate over the past week was 3.3 percent, and the 14-day average was 3.6 percent, the California Department of Public Health said in a written statement.
As of Tuesday, L.A. County accounted for 34 percent of California’s COVID-19 infections and 43 percent of the state’s deaths.