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Council Briefing on COVID-19 Monday Will Reveal Latest News on Delta Variant’s Local Impact

Published on Monday, July 19, 2021 | 5:00 am
An electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19-NIAID-RML

The Pasadena City Council on Monday will receive its first COVID-19 update since the Delta variant became the dominant strain of the virus worldwide.

On Saturday, a new face-covering mandate went into effect in Los Angeles County amid a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic that has seen local case rates and hospitalizations skyrocket.

The new rule requiring everyone to wear masks in indoor public spaces regardless of their vaccination status went into effect at 11:59 p.m Saturday.

Seven new cases of the virus were documented by the Pasadena Department of Public Health, raising the pandemic total to 11,507. 

Friday was also the first time that new infections dropped into single digits. Locally, the rate had been increasing since July 9, topping out at 12.4 on Wednesday and Thursday.

A total of 351 fatalities have been reported in Pasadena.

The county reported 1,827 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths on Saturday, as health officials attributed the recent spike to the presence of the more infectious Delta variant and the intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown.

Saturday’s daily test positivity rate was 3.7%. On July 4, it was near 1.5% and on June 15, test positivity was near 0.5%.

The number of people hospitalized in Los Angeles County due to the virus jumped from 462 on Friday to 507, while the number of those patients in intensive care remained at 103, according to state figures.

The latest figures lifted the cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 1,266,227 cases and 24,579 fatalities, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“Given the increased intermingling among unmasked people where vaccination status is unknown, the millions of people still unvaccinated, and the increased circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, we are seeing a rapid increase in COVID-19 infection,” said County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. 

“The level of COVID-19 transmission we are currently experiencing is now leading to significant increases in serious illness and hospitalizations, and requires us to take immediate action to prevent erosion of our recovery efforts,” Ferrer said.

“And while vaccinations are by far the most powerful tool we have, we are nowhere near herd immunity. While we continue efforts to increase vaccination coverage and build confidence in the vaccines, the simplest and most effective public health measure to add back is to require that everyone wear a mask in all indoor public places and businesses,” Ferrer continued.

“For those of us already vaccinated, we have been required for the last couple of months to continue to wear masks in many other public places including on all public transit, at all health care settings, schools and day care facilities. This was done in recognition that the vaccines, while extraordinarily effective, are not perfect and that we continue to have an obligation to reduce risk as much as possible,” she said.

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