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Pasadena Reports 12 New COVID-19 Infections; County Officials ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Pandemic’s Trajectory

Published on Monday, August 3, 2020 | 5:05 pm

Pasadena reported a dozen new COVID-19 cases detected in the city Monday while Los Angeles County health officials announced they were “cautiously optimistic” that the county may have begun turning the corner on the novel coronavirus.

No new deaths were reported. Pasadena had seen 2,016 infections and 109 fatalities, according to city data.
Pasadena city spokesman Lisa Derederian said while the latest data was encouraging, it’s far too early to declare victory over the virus.

“We want to be optimistic but not give a false sense of security, because we’re still receiving delayed numbers from Fourth of July weekend and an influx of younger positive cases,” Derderian said.

While the pandemic spread most rapidly through older, more vulnerable populations in its earlier stages, in recent weeks people under 40 have come to represent the bulk of new infections.

“The fear is they take it home to their parents and grandparents, which is an ongoing concern,” Derderian said. “The median age can reverse again.”

Fifty COVID-19 patients were being treated at Huntington Hospital on Monday, hospital data shows. Thirty-one tests were pending.

At the county level, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 1,634 new infections and 12 deaths on Monday, bringing the totals to 193,788 known COVID-19 cases and 4,701 deaths.

“The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health expressed cautious optimism today that community spread of COVID-19 in L.A. County has slowed and that other key indicators are stabilizing,” the agency reported in a written statement.

“The positive trends can be attributed to a variety of things, including the decreased opportunities for transmission, particularly in high-risk settings,” the statement added. “Several weeks ago, bars were closed, and the indoor operations of a variety of businesses and institutions were moved outdoors.”

Over the past seven days, L.A. County saw an average of 2,600 new infections per day, officials said. In the past week, the daily average was more than 3,000.

“The seven-day positivity rate has remained mostly flat over the month of July, hovering between 8 and 8.8 percent,” according to the statement. “And finally, hospitalizations, which is a key indicator of health system capacity, is on a positive trend with 2,000 hospitalizations on average. This number had ticked up to 2,200 in the middle of July. Although all of these key indicators are still too high, the plateauing of the trends is encouraging.”

The county’s overall positivity rate stood at about 10 percent, with more than 1.8 million tests administered in the county, according to the Department of Public Health.

Officials said 1,784 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the county on Monday, with 30 percent of them in intensive care units and 18 percent being treated with ventilators.

“The key indicators that we closely monitor at Public Health are looking positive, and I want to give credit to a large number of our county residents who heeded our orders and took the personal, basic actions needed to slow this virus,” said L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer.

“Folks wore their face coverings, they maintained physical distance from people they don’t live with, avoided gatherings and parties, and washed their hands,” Ferrer said. “But for our long-term success, we need to continue limiting the spread of COVID-19. We can’t simply go back to life as we knew it before March. We unfortunately still have a long way to go; we must remain vigilant.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced 5,739 new detected infections on Monday, placing the seven-day daily average at 7,764 cases, down about 21.2 percent from the prior week’s daily average of 9,859. “That’s some good news,” Newsom said.

Thirty-two new fatalities were also announced by the California Department of Public Health.

The state’s positivity rate over the past week declined to 6.1 percent, down from 7.5 percent last week, the governor said. The positivity rate over the previous two weeks dropped to 7 percent on Monday, up from about 8 percent last week.

“It’s not where it needs to be. It is still too high,” Newsom said. “But, again, it is good to see this number trending down, not trending up.”

The state on Monday had seen 514,901 total known infections and 9,388 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to state data.

As of Monday, L.A. County accounted for 38 percent of California’s known COVID-19 cases and 50 percent of all the state’s deaths.

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