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New COVID-19 cases continue to rise in L.A. County

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

In its news release on Wednesday the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health  reported that since mid-September, the average daily number of new coronavirus cases increased to about 1,000 per day. That metric is up from the period spanning from August through the beginning of September when the number of new cases was under 800 per day.

These daily case numbers continue to keep L.A. County in the state’s most restrictive Tier 1 in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Currently the adjusted case rate is 7.6 new cases per 100,000 residents. In order to move to the next less restrictive tier, the County must reduce its daily number of new cases to 7 or fewer per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks.

“With more interactions between people as businesses reopen, there is an increased risk of transmission that can result in people becoming seriously ill and tragically passing away,” public health officials warned.

Still, it is not all bad news as the county’s overall test positivity rate is 3.4 percent, which meets the threshold for Tier 3. And the test positivity rate in the lowest income areas is 5.9 percent, which meets the threshold for Tier 2. Earlier this month Governor Gavin Newsom added a requirement that counties reduce case and positivity rates in areas with lower incomes which also tend to include reduced access to health care.

“African American/Black and Latino/Latinx residents and those who live in high poverty areas have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The County continues to see decreases in deaths across all race and ethnicity groups and has made progress in closing the gaps,” the news release read.

In Claremont there have not been any new deaths reported in several weeks, with the county reporting 14 since the beginning of the pandemic. Cumulative cases across all areas in the city are 458, with just three new cases in the past week. There were no new institutional outbreaks in Claremont.

On Wednesday the county reported 33 new deaths and 510 new cases of COVID-19. However, the number of new cases is an undercount and reflects technical issues with the data reporting systems. Since mid-March public health has reported 290,486 cumulative cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,944 deaths.

Given the technical issues related to data reporting systems over the past two days, the department reminds anyone with a positive lab result who has not yet connected with a Public Health specialist, to call 1-833-540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.

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