Los Angeles County Public Health officials joined Pasadena health officials Friday in warning of an increase in COVID-19 cases among younger patients.
Younger county residents experience a 44% spike in coronavirus infections over the past 16 days, according to the L.A. County Public Health of Public Health.
“COVID-19 cases are spiking among L.A. County residents ages 18-40, with cases rising from 24,457 on June 10 to 35,249 on June 25,” the agency said in a written statement. “As we continue to reopen our economy, it is critical that everyone wears a cloth face covering and practices physical distancing when around others while outside their home or at a reopened business.
Pasadena Public Health Department officials issued a similar warning Monday after noting an uptick in infections among younger patients.
A reason for the trend was not clear, although Pasadena officials also noted an increase in incidents of COVID-19 cases acquired during employment as more and more people return to the workplace.
At the county level, the L.A. County Department of Public Health reported 1,809 new detected infections and 25 new deaths on Friday. That brought the total number of cases in L.A. County to 93,232, and raising the death toll to 3,267. Ninety-four percent of those who died had underlying health conditions, and three-quarters have been over 65 years old.
The seven-day average of daily detected COVID-19 cases grew to 1,979 Friday, up from the seven-day average of 1,379 two weeks prior, the county health department said in a written statement.
“There are 1,676 people who are currently hospitalized. This is higher than 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks,” according to the statement. “The cumulative positivity rate has increased from 8% to 9%, and the seven-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased to 8.8%.”
Pasadena health officials reported 25 new detected infections Friday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the city to 1,238.
Roughly half of the new cases were the result of increased testing at seniors’ facilities, city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
No new deaths were reported Friday. A total of 89 people have succumbed to the virus since the pandemic began.
Fifty-two COVID-19 patients were being treated at Huntington Hospital on Friday, according to hospital data. Nineteen COVID-19 patients were being treated as of June 9, hospital officials said, adding that the spike appeared to correlate with the relaxation of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that while new infections were expected to increase during the reopening process, “We did not expect the increases to be this steep this quickly.”
“Without immediate actions to slow the spread, we risk having too many people requiring hospital care and possibly overwhelming our healthcare system,” she said. “Preventing the continued surge in cases and hospitalizations calls on each of us to do our part. The time for all of L.A. County to do the right thing is now. Please don’t take a chance infecting someone else – wear a face covering and keep your distance.”