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Coronavirus cases rise including first death; care center has outbreak

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

The welcome news about reopening our local businesses was tempered by the announcement from Los Angeles County Public Health that new coronavirus cases in Claremont had spiked from 45 on Monday to 56 on Thursday.

Also on Thursday the county announced the first confirmed death in Claremont however no other details are known.

In addition, Claremont now has an institutional outbreak involving 15 residents and five employees of Country Villa Claremont Healthcare Center who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

For months Los Angeles County had 55 percent of the total cases statewide, however, new data indicate that has decreased somewhat.

The 58,234 confirmed cases in Los Angeles County still represent the largest outbreak in the state, but now the county has 48.5 percent of the 119,807 cases statewide. Adjusted for population, the outbreak in Imperial County at 1,409 cases per 100,000 people, has surpassed Los Angeles County at 576 per 100,000, according to numbers published by the Washington Post.

LA County’s 2,489 confirmed deaths represent 56 percent of the 4,422 COVID-19 deaths recorded in the state of California.

Many COURIER readers continue to inquire about the recovery rate in Claremont, but if the county is collecting this information they have not yet made it public. Still, there is some data that could assist in estimating how many of the 56 Claremonters with confirmed cases have likely recovered.

It is well documented that the disease is more severe among older people. However, according to the data from the county, only 26 percent of cases are among people over 65.

According to the census the average age in Los Angeles County is 37 and in Claremont is only slightly higher at 39.5. Therefore, it is likely that Claremont’s cases mirror those across the county and that 74 percent involve those younger than 65.

Claremont’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus was reported on March 23. By April 1 cases had increased to 3, and two weeks ago on May 22 the total was 33.

According to a report from the World Health Organization: “The median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately two weeks and is three to six weeks for patients with severe or critical disease.” Multiple sources estimate that eight in 10 COVID-19 cases are mild.

Based on the WHO data it is fair to assume that 80 percent of the 33 cases reported as of May 22 were mild and that about 26 people have recovered. It is also fair to assume that the 23 cases reported in the past two weeks involve patients who are either still sick or beginning recovery.

The seven remaining cases are unknown; however, six weeks ago, on April 23, there were 21 cases and 80 percent or 16 were presumed to be mild. So, five people had more severe symptoms, however, referring back to the WHO data, the chances that they have recovered are pretty good.

Among patients who have died, the time from symptom onset to outcome ranges from two to eight weeks, according to WHO. That offers a positive sign as the confirmed cases in Claremont stretch out into weeks and months since they first were reported.

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