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First coronavirus death in LA County is at Pomona Valley Hospital

by Matthew Bramlett | news@claremont-courier.com

The first death from the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County occurred Monday, March 9 at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), according to a release from the hospital.

The March 11 letter from the hospital states that a patient admitted to the hospital on March 9 was “confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).”

The patient was admitted to the hospital in full cardiac arrest, "and was immediately provided lifesaving care to stabilize her condition," the hospital stated. The patient’s husband arrived and disclosed the patient’s travel history and additional symptoms, and the patient was immediately placed in isolation.

Samples from the patient were submitted to the public health lab for COVID-19 testing, the hospital stated.

“Unfortunately, the patient died shortly after admission due to complications from her illness,” the letter said.

The hospital stated they “followed all appropriate infection control protocols and took every precaution in caring for this patient, who tragically succumbed to her complications.”

The hospital has identified workers who have come into contact with the patient, and are following guidelines outlined by the LA County Department of Public Health regarding healthcare worker exposure.

The death was first announced earlier Wednesday by Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, according to the Los Angeles Times. The patient was identified as a woman in her 60s who was not a resident of LA County and had underlying health conditions.

“We understand people may be feeling anxious about potential exposure to coronavirus, but we want to reassure our associates, patients and their families that the risk of exposure from this case is low,” the letter from PVHMC stated. “PVHMC remains a safe, high-quality facility to work and seek medical care.”

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