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Pasadena’s Death Toll Surpasses OC; CDC Expands List of Symptoms, Isolation Guidance for COVID-19 Recovery

Rose Bowl mobile testing site, Pasadena, April, 2020. Photo by Helen Arase.


Alhambra , CA

L.A. County Director of Department Public Health Barbara Ferrer turned the page on the calendar summing up the grim COVID-19 tolls in April. At the daily press briefing she observed that on April 1 there were fewer than 100 deaths in Los Angeles County. At the end of April that number was 1,172, meaning that there were over 1,000 deaths in the month.

And the totals delivered on the first day of May showed 62 deaths and 1,065 new cases bringing to 24,215 the total cases across L.A. County. And in context, the daily death count was the highest figure in eight days, since 68 deaths were reported on April 23.

Those living in institutional settings, predominantly nursing homes, make up 564 of L.A. County’s death toll, or 48% of the total. The tragic figure of institutional deaths may be more sharply evident in the city of Pasadena, which now has 50 deaths, surpassing the entire reported total in Orange County. At least 46 of Pasadena’s deaths have occurred in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities. Pasadena, which has its own health department and compiles its own numbers, has stated it has 406 confirmed cases.

At Friday’s briefing, Ferrer said that the Centers for Disease Control had adjusted its guidance on the issue of isolation for those recovering from the coronavirus. Noting that it may take longer than previously thought for the virus to shed, the CDC is now recommending that people isolate for 10 days instead of the previously recommended seven days and that the isolation period should start 72 hours after a fever or other symptoms subside.

Ferrer also noted that those testing positive, whether they display symptoms or not, need to follow this 10 day isolation guideline.

On Thursday, the CDC outlined additional symptoms for COVID-19 that are strong indications that testing should occur. In addition to cough, shortness of breath and fever, which have been the standard barometer for testing, the new indicators are chills, chills accompanied by shaking, unusual muscle pain and loss of smell or taste.

“The conditions we faced in February, March and April have not changed,” Ferrer said, “Ninety-five percent of us have not been infected,” she added in her now daily plea to practice safe distancing, wear masks, wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes and consult a medical provider if COVID-19 symptoms occur.

And she again urged those with underlying medical conditions including asthma, COPD, heart disease and cancer to stay home as much as possible. The grim statistic remains that of the 1,172 deaths in L.A. County, clearly the largest portion of the state’s death toll of 2,073, 92% of those who succumbed had underlying health issues.

In the context of positive tests, Ferrer said that of the 106 pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19, 27 completed births and 26 were live births and, sadly, a still birth. There was no sign in any of the births that COVID-19 had been transmitted in 22 of the babies who were tested.

And as about 500 protesters gathered in Huntington Beach to demand that stay-at-home rules be lifted and beaches reopened, Ferrer reminded L.A. County residents that the that the “Safer at Home” order was still in effect but she hoped people would get outside and enjoy the sunshine in their backyards and neighborhoods at a safe distance.

For a complete breakdown of the daily numbers and to see which institutional settings are under investigation for a confirmed positive staff or resident, and the number of deaths, see the Department of Public Health’s locations page.

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Los Angeles County Department of Public Health page.

For all of the reporting from the Alhambra Source, go to our Stay Healthy page.

The Los Angeles County COVID-19 press briefing is streamed online at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, on the L.A. County Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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