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Health Department Attributes Declining COVID-19 Death Rate to Community Members, Health Care Workers

Published on Thursday, June 4, 2020 | 2:58 pm
Huntington Hospital healthcare workers wave to police and firefighters last April 9 when the first responders paid a visit to the hospital to show their thanks to doctors and nurses. Photo by James Carbone

In response to the city’s declining Coronavirus death rate and the slowing case count, the city’s Director of Public Health Dr. Ying-Ying Goh told Pasadena Now a group effort by stakeholders and medical officials has led to the decline.

“The actions in the past weeks by community members following the Safer at Home orders have resulted in a decline in new cases and deaths,” Goh told Pasadena Now. “In addition, the intensive efforts of long-term care facility, staff/residents/their families, the CA Department of Public Health, Pasadena Public Health, the CA Office of the Ombudsman, and many other partners (state and local EMS, hospitals, community doctors, etc.) have helped to slow the spread of COVID-19 in congregate living facilities.”

As of Wednesday, 83 local residents have died from 943 cases. New numbers were expected on Thursday afternoon.

Since the Safer at Home order was passed in March, the city has averaged 1.07 deaths per day. But only three people have died from the virus since March, with zero deaths this month.

Most of the city’s deaths came from the city’s long term health facilities.

But recent protests have led to new concerns. Thousands of people assembled at Pasadena City Hall on two separate occasions to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Although some of the protesters wore masks to the events, Goh said they still run the risk of catching the virus.

“We will continue to monitor and publish COVID-19 indicators to see what the impact of reopening activities and recent gatherings will be,” Goh said. “People who are within six feet of others, even with face coverings, may be exposed to COVID-19.”

The city’s health order is still in effect calling for anyone exposed to someone with COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days, even if they get a COVID-19 swab test and are negative, Goh added.

“People can develop COVID-19 any time up to 14 days after being exposed, and if they do, they can spread it to others. A negative test before 14 days of quarantine are completed does not release someone from quarantine. We encourage community members to contact their healthcare providers with any concerns or testing needs, and also to check the city website for additional testing resources.”

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