COVID-19 is quickly becoming the No. 1 killer in Los Angeles County, say health officials, as the virus falls only behind heart disease.
Coronavirus continues to take its toll on county residents, significantly more deadly than the common flu, as the number of confirmed cases reached more than 165,000 countywide Thursday, including 4,213 deaths.
Among those grim numbers are 207 confirmed cases in South Pasadena as of Thursday, July 23, 23 of those succumbing from the disease.
Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the 7-day average of daily new infections has more than doubled over the last month, noting the daily positivity rate of new tests is now 8.5 percent.
“COVID-19 appears to be on track to claim more lives in L.A. County than any other disease than coronary heart disease,” said Ferrer.
From January through June of this year, Ferrer said coronavirus twice as many people in the region died from the virus as did the flu over the past 8-month flu season.
“Every family that loses a loved one to COVID-19 is left with a void in their lives that they will never be able to fill. We think of you and our hearts go out to you,” said Ferrer. “The flu is a dangerous virus in its own right, but it is nowhere near as deadly as COVID-19.”
Stressing that the coronavirus is on track to become the second leading cause of death in L.A. County, Ferrer added, “We need to take its strength and power seriously. A lax attitude to this virus can be deadly for someone you love. You could be infected, not know it, and pass the infection to someone you love who may not be as lucky as you. Please be caring of those around you — wear a face covering, maintain physical distancing and practice hand hygiene. It can save lives.”
Over a six month period last year, heart disease was the top cause of death, with nearly 6,000 dying from it. It appears that COVID-19, according to L.A. County health officials, with more than 3,400 deaths during the same time period, is on track to kill more in Los Angeles County residents than any disease except coronary heart disease – topping the number from Alzheimer’s Disease, other kinds of heart disease, stroke and COPD.
As a result of the coronavirus so easily transmitted among people in contact with each other, Ferrer emphasized the importance of business owners and residents doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Current Health Officer Orders require business owners to close indoor operations at many businesses, taking immediate action to implement strategies to protect workers and customers. Ferrer, like other health officials, urges the public to avoid the Three C’s: Crowded places, Confined spaces and Close contact with others not in your household.
She pushed the importance of wearing a face covering securely over the nose and mouth and keep six feet apart from others not in a household when out in public.