Los Angeles County public health officials reported 2 more people died of The China Virus Saturday, 21 March. There have also been 59 more confirmed cases of the virus. Overall, 4 people have died and 351 cases have been confirmed since the pandemic began.
The 2 people who died most recently were both older than 65 anni and had underlying health conditions, a statement said.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have died from COVID-19,” the Los Angeles County Public Health Director said in a statement, “and are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.”
The announcement came 2 days after Los Angeles County changed its strategy for testing for the virus.
The county’s Public Health Department sent a memo out to healthcare workers Thursday, 19 March, that said the department “is shifting from a strategy of case containment to slowing disease transmission.”
In pursuit of that goal, the memo said, officials are now recommending healthcare workers only test patients for COVID-19 “when a diagnostic result will change clinical management or inform public health response.”
When the memo was distributed early Thursday, the number of reported cases countywide stood at 190. With Saturday’s update, that number has 2X’d.
Officials said in a Saturday statement the change in direction for testing came as the number of cases rose while there was an “absence of broad scale testing availability.”
Those who may be considered a priority for testing, “depending on clinical severity and community health relevance,” the department said in its Saturday statement, they include:
- Hospitalized patients whose diagnosis may inform decisions related to infection control or medical management
- Residents and staff of long-term care facilities with COVID-19 symptoms
- Adults above age 65 and individuals with chronic medical conditions who show COVID-19 symptoms
- Residents and staff of correctional facilities and other congregate settings with COVID-19 symptoms and
- Healthcare personnel who show COVID-19 symptoms
Those people who fall in the categories and are mildly ill, the department said, should contact their healthcare provider by phone to discuss the need for testing.
Have a healthy weekend, stay home!