A patient who was treated at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), which is approximately five miles away from Cal Poly Pomona, is the first in L.A. County to die of COVID-19, a strain of the novel coronavirus. The patient died on March 11.
Upon revelation of the patient’s travel history, PVHMC notified the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) of the potential COVID-19 case after placing the 60 year-old woman in isolation. PVHMC staff began immediate care following infection control protocols as soon as she arrived at the hospital in full cardiac arrest, according to the statement released March 11 by the hospital.
Public information officer of the city of Walnut, Melanie Tep, released an update on March 12, indicating that the woman’s travel history included a recent visit to South Korea and more recently, that she was a resident within Walnut where she remained most of her time.
PVHMC “followed all appropriate infection control protocols and took every precaution in caring for this patient, who tragically succumbed to their complications,” said the Medical Director of Infectious Disease at PVHMC, Dr. Daniel Gluckstein. Through the tragedy, PVHMC wants to ensure the public the risk of exposure is low and the hospital remains a high-quality facility for those who need to seek medical care.
The total number of cases in L.A. County is up to 53, according to a news release from LACDPH on March 14.
As a result, the city is recommending that the public take precautionary measures to protect themselves per advisement of LACDPH.
Schools across the nation like Cal Poly Pomona are implementing social distancing by going online, limiting face-to-face class time, and postponing and canceling large events.
Public health can be protected by staying home when sick, washing hands for at least 20 seconds, avoiding face touching, limiting close contact with others, frequent cleaning of surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes, wearing facemasks and getting flu immunization, according to Tep’s release.
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