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More institutional outbreaks in Claremont

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Claremont has three emerging institutional coronavirus outbreaks. However, the city’s first such outbreak, at County Villa Claremont Healthcare Center, has been controlled.

Los Angeles County Public Health has reported that six staff and two residents at Claremont Manor have tested positive, and Western Assemblies Home has cases among nine staff members and seven residents, with one death. Mount San Antonio Gardens, which is in Pomona but has many Claremont retirees, has cases among five staff members and three residents.

The coronavirus was determined to no longer be active at Country Villa Claremont Healthcare Center, and as a result it has been dropped from the county’s list of institutional outbreaks.

In a news release on Monday, public health reported 209 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Claremont, which includes the cases in unincorporated neighborhoods. That is an increase of 40 cases in one week, or about 19 percent. One month ago Claremont had 85 cases.

The county announced that it is providing $10 million to community-based organizations, particularly in the hardest hit communities, to encourage participation in case investigation and contact tracing efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19. They are also piloting an incentive program where participants in hour-long contact tracing interviews will receive $20 gift cards.

During a news conference on Monday, Supervisor Kathryn Barger says the recent rise in cases across the county is tied in part to social gatherings on the Fourth of July holiday.

“As people spend time in their communities and spend time with people who are not in their household we will continue to see a higher positive rate. We anticipated and prepared for these cases. The virus is here to stay, it is up to us to learn how to coexist with the COVID-19 and adapt our daily lives to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” she said.

She also cautioned county residents that the best way to avoid more stringent shut-down measures is to take the current restrictions more seriously.

“Where we go from here, as the supervisor mentioned, depends on all of us. The simple and personal actions we all take are very powerful and they have never been more important,” Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said

Monday’s news release confirmed nine deaths and 3,160 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the cumulative positive cases to 159,045 and a total of 4,104 deaths across all areas of Los Angeles County. Over the past week the county has reported an average of 3,100 new cases each day, with two days reporting over 4,000 cases.

Public health reports 2,232 people are currently hospitalized, surpassing Sunday’s count of 2,216. Of the those currently hospitalized, 26 percent are in ICU and 19 percent are on ventilators.

“This is the fourth day in the last week we have reported the highest number of patients being in the hospital,” Ms Ferrer said.

One positive note, the county has returned to testing 20,000 people per day and has successfully tested more than 1.5 million people with a ten percent positivity rate.

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