Stats and Info on COVID-19


In our effort to keep our readers informed of the coronavirus – COVID-19 – situation, CV Weekly is sharing the latest information we received on the disease that, as of Wednesday, has been declared a pandemic.

It is not our purpose to panic anyone but to offer information. Amid cancellations of school and college trips, new guidelines of what local businesses are following and new ways of approaching local events, there are some helpful ways to keep people safe and to stop the spread of this virus. Those suggestions are in a companion article to this one found online at

As of 7 a.m. on March 10 there were 157 positive cases and two deaths in California resulting from the COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus or novel coronavirus. Of that total, 24 cases are from repatriation flights, 50 cases are travel-related, 30 are due to person-to-person transmission, 29 are community acquired and 24 are from unknown sources. The age range of confirmed cases is: 0 to 17 – two cases, 18 to 64 – 91 cases, 65 and older – 60 cases, and four cases involve people of unknown ages, according to the California Dept. of Public Health.

According to the Public Health Dept. of Los Angeles County, as of March 10, there have been 17 reported cases of COVID-19 within LA County; this number excludes the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena, which have independent health departments. The Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health has confirmed the first death from 2019 novel coronavirus. The individual (a non- resident visiting friends) was an older adult who traveled extensively over the past month, including a long layover in South Korea. Public Health is also reporting six additional positive cases, one of which is presumed to be the county’s second case of community transmission.

There are 18 public health laboratories in the state that are testing for COVID-19. More public labs are expected to be opening soon.

Numbers of how many people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States are difficult to keep track of with states reporting numbers that are, many times, not in line with numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In part this is because the virus is spreading so quickly. The CDC updates its “Coronavirus Disease 2019 [COVID-19]” webpage Monday through Friday at 4 p.m.

As of Wednesday at 8 a.m. there were no COVID-19 cases reported in the Crescenta Valley area; however, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital is being proactive.

“As of right now, we have not seen any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, and none have been announced in the foothills area. However, our hospital is fully prepared to respond to any patients who may have been infected by following our protocols, communicating with health officials, ensuring that the patient is treated properly for any complications, and keeping our patients and medical staff safe,” stated Patricia Sung, MPH, epidemiologist and manager of infection prevention at USC-VHH, in response to an email. “The hospital has developed protocols to respond to anyone who might be infected with COVID-19, including patients who come through our Emergency Department. Our staff has been well trained to ensure that all other patients and staff are kept safe, while any patients who may be infected are properly isolated and treated. We remain in close contact with the LA County Dept. of Public Health for the latest guidance and updates from across the nation and even worldwide. While we currently have not seen community spread of this virus in Los Angeles County, we are developing plans to accommodate a surge in admissions in the event that we see a surge in positive patients.”

All businesses and organizations, from school districts to storage businesses, are sending out messages of how they are responding to the coronavirus.

“Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our students and staff. We take this responsibility very seriously and continuously work with local public health agencies to obtain the most up-to-date information for our community. As of [Tuesday] there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the City of Glendale,” according to a statement from Glendale Unified School District.

The district continues to receive regular updates from the LA County Dept. of Public Health. Spring break for GUSD schools begins next week and during that time the district’s custodial staff will deep clean all school facilities. District staff will continue to work on plans to be prepared if the situation changes and schools need to close.

“Although we do not expect widespread school closures in our area, we are prepared to extend spring break for additional days if necessary,” stated GUSD.

School closures are a concern throughout the state. The California Dept. of Education has received a special waiver called “CA COVID19 from the United States Dept. of Agriculture [USDA] that will enable a school district that had previously been approved to operate the Summer Food Service Program [SFSP] or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure,” according to the CDE’s statement. “Under the waiver, meals can be served at school and non-school sites. Students will not be required to remain on-site to consume the meal and can take the meal and go, which is not the usual federal guideline. This exception was made to enable students to continue to be fed without increasing the risk of spreading germs.”

Coronavirus, COVID-19, is not the same as the flu. COVID-19 is caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The flu is caused by several different types and strains of influenza viruses. Although transmission of the flu and COVID-19 are similar in some ways, COVID-19 might be spread through an airborne route, like tiny droplets remaining in the air that could cause disease even after an ill person is no longer nearby. There are vaccines for the flu that are effective in preventing some of the most dangerous types or reducing the severity of the flu. There is no vaccine available for COVID-19 at this time. And although there are more deaths, as of March 11, due to the flu than to COVID-19, the latter disease is new and spreading quickly, according to a statement from Lisa Maragakis, M.D., MPH senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins.

“The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this disease is caused by a new virus people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19 but, at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu,” stated Maragakis.

Some feel the response to the coronavirus is an over-reaction. Not so, said Sung.

“The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new virus and, like any new virus, we need to be prepared until we truly understand how it affects individuals and communities,” she said. “We have seen that it can be very contagious, and that hand washing, respiratory etiquette, and social distancing are effective at preventing the virus from spreading. An overabundance of caution at this time could keep more people safe in the long run. However, while we recommend being prepared, there is no need to panic.

On Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified on Capitol Hill. 

“I think if you count all the cases of minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic infection that will probably bring the mortality rate down to somewhere around 1%, which means it is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu,” he said.

In his update on COVID-19 on Wednesday, director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated, “In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled … We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.”

A pandemic is an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.

Seasonal epidemics are not considered pandemics, according to WHO.

Evidence from other countries suggests that, like the flu, most people will have mild symptoms and should stay home until 24 hours after fever. Certain people should call their doctor early, including the elderly, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical problems. Those who are having difficulty breathing or keeping fluids down should go to an emergency room or call 911; otherwise it is better to call your doctor before going in to seek care. A doctor should also be called when close contact has been made with a person who has COVID-19, according to the CDC.