Pasadena Reports 2 New COVID-19 Deaths as Infections Continue to Slow

first_imgCommunity News Pasadena Reports 2 New COVID-19 Deaths as Infections Continue to Slow By BRIAN DAY and CITY NEWS SERVICE Published on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 5:48 pm Top of the News STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS 11 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Subscribe <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”>?</span>Authorities added two fatalities to Pasadena’s COVID-19 death toll Wednesday, as the lowest number of new infections in well over a month were reported.A total of 239 people have died from the virus in the city, according to city data. January has proven to be the deadliest month of the pandemic in Pasadena by far, with 72 deaths reported since the start of the new year.With 44 additional infections reported, the lowest number since Dec. 14, total infections in Pasadena stood at 9,988.Between Jan. 4 and Jan. 14, the city did not see a single day with fewer than 100 new infections, data shows. Totals over 200 were documented Jan. 5 through Jan. 8, peaking at 253 on Jan. 5.Huntington Hospital reported treating 164 COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, with 29 of them being treated in intensive care units.Over the past week, the facility had recorded 17.3 average daily admissions of COVID-19 patients.A total of 11,443 Pasadenans had been vaccinated through the Pasadena Public Health Department or state-approved providers, according to city data. More than 2,300 people had received their second doses.The city remained in Phase 1b of Tier 1 under the state’s vaccination guidelines.Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer issued a warning to residents to limit gatherings, specifically citing the upcoming Super Bowl, reminding that past sporting events and celebrations during the Dodgers and Lakers championship runs contributed to spiking infections.“We know that Super Bowl Sunday is coming up, and we can’t repeat the mistakes of the past,” she said. “It will be tragic if the Super Bowl becomes a super-spreader of coronavirus.’”Ferrer said that despite this week’s lifting of the state’s regional stay-at-home order and the re-imposing of the local health order that permits outdoor gatherings of up to 15 people from three different households, residents shouldn’t take it as a pass to begin widespread socializing.“It just doesn’t work if every night people gather with a different group of folks to have small parties,” she said. “This is one of the reasons we had the surge. Too many people socializing.”Ferrer noted a continuing downward trend in new COVID-19 case rates, reporting 6,917 new infections Wednesday. The new cases lifted the cumulative countywide total from throughout the pandemic to 1,091,712.The number of people dying from the virus, however, remains high, with the county announcing another 307 deaths, although 22 of those fatalities were actually reported Tuesday by Long Beach health officials. The news deaths increased the overall death toll to 15,897.Ferrer and county Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said the daily number of deaths is likely to remain elevated for at least two more weeks, due to the recent surge of COVID patients swarming intensive-care units.The hospitalization numbers have been trending downward, with the state reporting a total of 6,026 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID as of Wednesday, including 1,542 people in ICUs. At the beginning of the month, the county was averaging more than 8,000 COVID patients. The county’s average ICU population of COVID patients has also fallen, from about 1,900 per day earlier this month to now about 1,600.Ghaly noted that hospitals are now averaging about 500 new daily COVID patient admissions per day, down from more than 700 earlier this month, the number is still double the rate seen during the COVID surge last July.The county’s COVID-19 transmission rate — reflecting the average number of people a COVID patient infects with the virus — also continues to decline, estimated Wednesday at 0.85, down from 0.94 last week. Keeping that number below 1.0 is considered critical to slowing the spread of the virus.But while the numbers continue to trend in the right direction, Ghaly noted that cases could quickly surge again if residents become lax about infection control.“Though things are finally starting to move in the right direction, an increase in the behaviors that facilitate transmission could lead to a renewed increase in the number of hospitalized patients within about three weeks’ time,” Ghaly said. “There’s always that lag between activity that might expose somebody to the virus, through to infection through to the point at which someone requires a hospital for care.“I thus urge everyone to continue to be safe,” she said. “ … If we collectively let up on our efforts to limit transmission, then our hospital system could easily become overwhelmed again. We cannot let this happen. We can’t let the current high number of COVID patients still within the hospital become normal to us. It is simply not sustainable.”The California Department of Public Health announced 16,728 new COVID-19 infections and 697 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the totals to 3,169,914 infections and 38,224 fatalitites.The state’s average positivity rate over the prior week had fallen to 7.7%, and the 14-day average was recorded at 8.8%, which was the lowest rate since Dec. 8, according to CDPH data.As of Wednesday, L.A. County represented 34% of California’s COVID-19 infections and 42% of the state’s deaths. 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