Two new COVID-19 deaths were reported in Pasadena Friday, along with 17 new infections, as California’s death toll exceeded 9,000 and confirmed infections approached a half-million, authorities said.
One of the two Pasadena patients who lost their lives was believed to have contracted the novel coronavirus during a Father’s Day gathering, while the other appeared to have become infected in the workplace, city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. Both were men in their 70s.
A total of 107 deaths in Pasadena were attributed to the virus, according to city data. Total cumulative detected cases in the city had reached 1,973.
While people under 40 have accounted for the majority of new infections for more than a month, the virus has more recently been increasingly spreading among children, officials said.
“In the last two weeks, there has been a 62% increase in cases in children less than 18 years old and a 32.4% increase in cases among adults 18 to 40 years old,” Derderian said.
“We have seen only modest increases in cases among the seniors,” she said. “And while the cases have increased the most among children less than 18, the majority of our cases continue to be in adults 20 to 40 years old.”
Huntington Hospital was treating 46 COVID-19 patients on Friday, with 11 tests pending, according to hospital data.
At least 330 people have been hospitalized in Pasadena at some point due to the pandemic, city data shows.
When it comes to businesses, Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh said the biggest problem health officials were seeing was failure to promptly report infections.
She reminded businesses that they have a legal responsibility to report confirmed COVID-19 infections in the workplace to the health department.
“What we really want employers to do is to call us immediately,” Goh said. If employers report COVID-19 cases right away, before they become outbreaks, “We could intervene and prevent them from blossoming into many cases,” Goh said.
Some business owners may fear that they report an infection, health officials will close them down.
But in reality, through early intervention, “We want to stop that from happening,” Goh said. Without early intervention, it’s not health officials who will close businesses down, “it’s the coronavirus.”
An infection in the workplace does not reflect poorly on a business or indicate it has not been following safety protocols, Goh said.
Employees have individual lives outside of the workplace, and not all infections can be prevented, she said. “It’s not a sign of failure of the workplace.”
Los Angeles County health officials announced 2,651 new COVID-19 cases and 69 new deaths on Friday, bringing the county’s totals to 188,481 infections and 4,621 deaths.
Just over 2,000 people were hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, with 29% of them in intensive care units and 18% of them being treated with ventilators, the L.A. County Department of Public Health said in a written statement. Another 566 people were hospitalized with “suspected cases” of COVID-19.
“As we are seeing increases these past few days in the numbers of people dying from COVID-19, the reality of the devastation cannot be ignored. Nor can we ignore the reality that there are actions each person can take to prevent these tragic outcomes,” L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said. “Together, we can slow the spread of this deadly virus with simple acts of respect and kindness — wear a face covering, avoid gathering with people you don’t live with, stay home as much as possible, and practice hand hygiene. Together, we can heal.”
County health officials also called on businesses to help fight the spread of the virus through prompt reporting of employee infections.
“Businesses are also responsible for helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 and they must report COVID-19 outbreaks to Public Health. This is a key element in the County’s recovery journey,” the county statement said. “Health Officer Orders require businesses with three or more known cases of COVID-19 over the span of 14 days, to report the outbreak to Public Health. Employers who have one known case within the workplace must have a protocol that requires that person to self-isolate at home and anyone exposed to self-quarantine.”
Employees were urged to report employers who were not disclosing COVID-19 infections to authorities.
The California Department of Public Health announced 8,086 new detected infections and 96 new deaths on Friday. The state has now seen 493,588 infections in all, as well as 9,005 deaths.
Among the newly reported deaths was that of
“The seven-day average number of new cases is 8,322 per day,” state health officials said in a written statement. “The 7-day average from the week prior was 9,881”
Thirty-seven counties, including L.A. County, remained on the governor’s watch list, with restrictions in place including a ban on gatherings, indoor dining and other activities.
As of Friday, L.A. County accounted for 38% of all COVID-19 cases in California and 51% of all the state’s reported deaths.