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Workplace Outbreaks of COVID-19 Spike in L.A. County, As 2 More Pasadenans Die

Pasadena also reports 113 new COVID-19 infections, lowest daily increase in 10 days

Published on Thursday, January 14, 2021 | 5:06 am

COVID-19 sickened 113 people in Pasadena and claimed two additional lives on Wednesday, authorities said.

The two newest victims who died were both men, one in his 50s and one his 70s, according to city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian. Both cases were believed to have been acquired through the community or work, although one may have been related to a Christmas gathering.
“We continue to report deaths, which is what was expected given the huge surge in November and December,” she said.

While still well above the rate seen during the first nine months of the pandemic, Wednesday’s tally of new infections represented the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases detected in the city in 10 days, according to city data.

At Huntington Hospital, officials reported treating 194 COVID-19 patients, with 40 of them being treated in intensive care units.

A spike in workplace outbreaks appeared to be helping drive the pandemic in Los Angeles County as health officials reported 14,564 new detected infections and 281 deaths.

Wednesday’s figures raised the county-wide totals to 958,497 case of COVID-19 and 12,955 deaths, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

“The COVID-19 surge in Los Angeles County has contributed to a surge in outbreaks at workplaces across the county, including grocery stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and many other workplaces where people come together on a daily basis,” the agency said in a written statement. “The largest increase is among general worksites, which includes warehouses, manufacturing facilities and logistics companies. In just over a month, outbreaks at these worksites increased from 9 per week on November 1, to 44 per week on December 6, nearly a fivefold increase.”

Schools and daycare centers in L.A.County have also seen significant increases in outbreaks, officials said.

“Starting in the middle of November, outbreaks increased from about 20 outbreaks to a total of 70 outbreaks by mid-December,” according to the county statement. “And while almost all the outbreaks were small and well-contained, dozens of staff and a small number of students were affected.”

L.A. County Director of Public Health urged members of the public to not only consider their own health and safety, but that of others, as well.

“”We are tragically losing more than 1,300 people a week to this disease. You or the person right next to you stand a very good chance of having the coronavirus and you may not know it, but as a carrier, you risk the health of many others,” she said. “Your infection could lead to 20 infections in just a matter of a couple of days and someone along that path of transmission could die from it.”

“These are not normal times, so we can’t go out and act as if nothing is going on,” Ferrer said. “This is an invisible virus that is not going away soon. We are in a serious pandemic, so we all need to pull back, protect ourselves and protect others.”

Just under 7,959 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout the county on Wednesday, with 22% of them being treated in intensive care units.

At the state level, authorities reported 33,751 new infections and 589 additional deaths on Wednesday.

Since the start of the pandemic, California has recorded 2,781,039 cases of the virus and 31,102 deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The statewide positivity rate over the prior two weeks was measured at 13.3%.

As of Wednesday, L.A. County accounted for 34% of California’s COVID-19 infections and 42% of the state’s fatalities.

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