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Pandemic Showing Signs of Slowing; 7 New COVID-19 Cases Reported in Pasadena

Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 | 3:46 pm
 

Seven new novel coronavirus infections and one additional COVID-19 death were reported in Pasadena on Tuesday, authorities said.

The most recent victim among the city’s fatalities, which had reached 110, was described as a 72-year-old woman who lived in an assisted living facility, said city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.

She died in mid-June, but her death was only recently confirmed as being a result of the virus, Derderian said. The city saw 12 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths on Monday.

Total known infections in Pasadena stood at 2,023.

Tuesday’s reported case count was the smallest seen in over a week, city data show. The last time fewer cases were reported was on July 27, when five infections were announced.

Over the previous seven days, Pasadena saw an average of 14.3 new COVID-19 cases daily. The average was above 30 new cases as recently as July 24.

State and county officials have both reported seeing a decline in new infections in recent days.

But it was far from time to assert victory over the coronavirus and give up on social distancing, according to Derderian.

“It’s too soon to declare a trend,” she said. “We all need to remain vigilant and proactive.”

Forty patients were being treated at Huntington Hospital for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, according to hospital data. Fourteen tests were pending.

At the county level, public health officials reported 1,901 new COVID-19 cases and 57 new deaths, but cautioned that information was incomplete due to delays in the state’s electronic lab reporting (ELR) system.

“Public Health learned of new issues with the state ELR feed on an emergency call convened by the state last night,” according to an L.A. County Department of Public Health statement. “This issue has undercounted the county’s positive cases and affects the number of COVID-19 cases reported each day and our contact tracing efforts. However, there should not be delays in patients being notified of lab results, as laboratories continue to report tests results directly to providers and hospitals.”

County health officials have begun “urgently” reviewing data from at least 81 labs, dating back to July 26, “to determine the accurate positive case count in Los Angeles County for the time period in question,” according to the statement. “Public Health is also implementing a system for all labs to report positive test results to the department immediately so that moving forward the department can have an accurate case count and be assured that contact tracing efforts are not delayed.”

Once adjustments are made, tallies of infections and deaths are expected to be revised upward, county officials said.

The county has recorded 195,614 infections since the start of the pandemic, as well as 4,758 deaths.

Hospitalitions, which were not affected by the data error, were tallied at 1,757, with 31 percent of the patients being treated in intensive care units, officials said. “Daily hospitalizations were over 2,000 patients last week.”

Disputing the problems with data reporting, L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said there were still positive signs.

“While the missing data is troubling and hinders efforts to monitor and reduce the spread of COVID-19, data sources that track other key indicators, including hospitalizations, are not affected by this reporting issue,” she said. “Hospitalization data for Los Angeles County still shows a decrease, and we continue to be cautiously optimistic that our efforts over the past few weeks may be starting to slow the spread.”

The county’s positivity rate was at 10 percent, with more than 1.8 million tests administered, according to public health officials.

The California Department of Public Health announced 4,536 new detected infections, the lowest number seen since June 21, along with 113 deaths.

“The 7-day average number of new cases is 7,554 per day,” the agency said in a written statement. “The 7-day average from the week prior was 9,397.”

California has recorded 519,427 COVID-19 infections in total as of Tuesday, as well as 9,501 deaths attributed to the illness, according to state data.

Just over 6,300 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, with 1,892 of them being treated in intensive care units.

Based on the provided data, Los Angeles County accounted for 38 percent of California’s known infections and 50 percent of the state’s deaths.

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