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State asks counties to control outbreaks in low-income communities

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

On Tuesday the state of California incorporated a new metric into the Blueprint for a Safer Economy with the goal of addressing the inequality of COVID-19 infections and deaths among people by “race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status,” according to a news release from Los Angeles County Public Health.

The metric calculates the test positivity rate for people living in areas considered “less advantaged” and compares this rate with the overall positivity rate in the county—the goal of which is to reduce disease transmission in all communities.

“African American/Black and Latino/Latinx residents and those who live in high poverty areas in the US have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The county is focused on understanding and eliminating gaps in COVID-19 outcomes and routinely report on data by race and ethnicity as well as area poverty in order to understand what gaps exist and our progress closing the gaps,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, the county reported 1,645 new cases of the novel coronavirus, which represents a significant increase in the daily count. The case rate of 7.4 cases per 100,000 residents continues to be a stumbling block in the county’s efforts to progress from tier one to the next level in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Public health also reported 30 deaths on Wednesday, however, the average rate of new deaths and the positivity rate continue to be much lower than they were a few months ago. The county reports the positivity rate is 2.8 percent overall but 4.6 percent in the county’s lowest income areas.

Since the beginning of the pandemic the county has recorded 277,445 cumulative cases and 6,709 deaths.

Following weeks of steady decline Claremont saw an increase of 22 newly reported cases in the past week for a cumulative total of 434 across all areas of the city. The county is reporting one new death in the unincorporated areas of Claremont, bringing the total deaths in all areas to 14.

Institutional outbreaks have stabilized and the county is reporting the following cumulative cases and deaths: Claremont Care Center, three staff and four residents; Mt. San Antonio Gardens, eight staff, 10 residents and four deaths; Mountain View Center two staff, 16 residents and four deaths; Oak Park Manor, one resident; Sunrise of Claremont, one staff and two residents; Western Assemblies Home 13 staff, six residents and one death.

Performance Athletic Center on Monte Vista was cited by the county for non-compliance with the health officer order.

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