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Coronavirus cases in LA County continue to decline

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

The number of new coronavirus cases has steadily decreased through August and September according to a news release from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Last week the average daily number of new cases was 800, compared with over 2,000 just a month ago. However, public health officials warn this number may be artificially low because testing was hampered by the hot weather and closed testing sites due to the fires currently burning in Southern California.

“Our test positivity rate has averaged 3 percent for the past week. Just a month ago, in mid-August, this rate averaged 5 percent. A decreased test positivity rate is often a sign of reduced community transmission,” public health officials said in a statement.

LA County’s adjusted daily case rate of 8.1 cases per 100,000 residents remains a stubborn metric and is the main reason that the county is still in tier one, which is the most restrictive level of the state’s four-tier virus-tracking roadmap. In order to move to tier two, the case rate would have to fall to seven cases per 100,000. Once that goal is reached businesses such at gyms and movie theaters could reopen with restrictions.

Claremont’s cumulative cases now tops 390, including cases reported in unincorporated areas. Public health is reporting 10 deaths in the city of Claremont and three in unincorporated Claremont.

There are no new institutional outbreaks in Claremont, however, cumulative cases include the following: Claremont Care Center with six staff and one resident; Claremont Manor with eight staff, four residents and one death; Claremont Place, two staff, one resident; Garces Residential Care, three residents; Mt. San Antonio Gardens, eight staff, 10 residents and one death; Mountain View Center, two staff, 16 residents and three deaths; Sunrise of Claremont, five staff and two residents; Western Assemblies Home, 13 staff and six residents with one death; Claremont Police Department, five employees; and Therapak, 19 employees.

Countywide, the number of daily hospitalizations has returned to levels seen early in pandemic—804 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 30 percent of whom are in the ICU.

“We are hoping that over the Labor Day Holiday everyone continued to do their best to reduce transmission so we don’t experience another surge in hospitalizations a few weeks from now,” the statement read.

Since its first coronavirus update, public health has reported 256,148 cumulative cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and 6,303 deaths. In a news release on Wednesday public health reported 1,148 new cases and 31 deaths.

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