Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 2, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page A:10

Mountain View News Saturday, June 25 , 2022 10 Mountain View News Saturday, June 25 , 2022 10 

The Chef Knows By Peter Dills 

“Time in a Bottle” was a hit song by singer/songwriter Jim Croce. 
A question I am asked almost weekly basis is “does wine get better 
as it spends more time in a bottle?” Answer is “yes… and no”. 
Philipe Jeandet is a professor at University of Reims Champagne-
Ardenne in France, and was lucky enough to discover a shipwreck 
that had quite a cargo. Gold? No, champagne. Jeandet and his 
crew brought all 168 bottles to the surface, and actually opened 
one on the spot. First tastes were fantastic. Given his knowledge 
of bubbles, his first guess was that they were at least 100 years old. 
The bottles had no boxes or labels, so after a few years of inspecting 
the corks and bottle engravings his group decided that the 
champagne was over 200 years old. It’s home at the bottom of the 
Baltic Sea provided total darkness and a temperature of 35 degrees, 
aided by the compression of depth for the discovery, perfect for 
storing wine. 

Your home wine cellar provides somewhat different conditions than the bottom of the Baltic 
Sea, so getting back to the question above, does wine get better with age? Yes, wines that are 
expensive or rare will get better. No, most wine is produced to drink now. In fact, up to 90% of 
wines don’t actually get any better with ageing. Many of us will let our wines breathe, especially 
the reds, and that’s fine. I suggest using a large wine glass with enough room to swirl your wine 
around, watch the legs on the glass, and drink. Many of my class “A” sommelier friends contend 
that if it’s not ready drink, it isn’t ready to buy. I agree!! 

As for champagne, my storage procedure (for a single bottle or case) is to simply leave it on the 
floor of my closet, laying each bottle sideways. Champagne, for many, is only for special occasions, 
whereas for me it is a weekly toast. You should only put champagne in the refrigerator 
when you are ready to serve it. Once opened it will only last a few hours, so make sure you have 
plenty of help to drink it. My bottom line on the subject is to let the supermarkets and wine 
shops take care of the storage for you. They have the right equipment, and it is a heck of job (and 
a lot of money) to build your own wine cellar. 

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Public Health is continuing to track the impact of the pandemic in LA County using 
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Levels 
framework and the County’s Ear-ly Alert Signals. 

Currently, the county remains at the CDC designated COVID-19 Medium Community 
Level. However, there are increasing concerns about the impact of new Omicron 
sub-variants on transmission and hospitalizations that could result in the County 
moving into the High Community Level designation sometime later this summer. 

Our seven-day case rate is currently at 326 cases per week per 100,000 people, an increase 
from last week when the case rate was 307. 

The first of two hospital metrics in the CDC Community Levels Framework is the 
seven-day total of new hospital admissions per 100,000, which rose this past week to 

8.1 admissions per 100,000 peo-ple. This is a 56% increase compared to one month 
ago. The second hospital metric, the seven-day average for the proportion of staffed 
inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, also increased this past week to 4.2%. 
If the county moves into the CDC designated High Community Level and remains 
there for two con-secutive weeks, the county would implement a universal indoor 
masking requirement for everyone age 2 and older in LA County as a safety measure 
aligned with the CDC framework. The safety meas-ure would remain in effect until 
the county returned to the CDC Medium Community Level designa-tion, or lower, 
for two consecutive weeks. 

It’s important to note that Public Health can’t predict with certainty what the future 
hospitalization trend will look like. Hospitalizations could level off or begin to decline. 
With the continued prolifera-tion of new Omicron subvariants, it is very difficult to 
accurately predict the rate of hospitalizations, so Public Health will continue to closely 
monitor the CDC metrics. 

Because hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, it is important to also track other 
metrics that indi-cate areas of concern and/or risk. Our Early Alert signals track both 
community and sector specific pandemic activity. As a reminder, school outbreaks 
will not be tracked over the summer since schools are closed. 

Six of the seven Early Alert metrics Public Health are tracking continue to convey 
cause for Medium or High Concern. Moreover, in the past week, four Early Alert Signals 
moved upward in the level of con-cern: The case rate in the lowest income areas 
and the number of new outbreaks at Skilled Nursing Facilities per week, both moved 
up to High Concern. The number of new outbreaks in settings for People Experiencing 
Homelessness is now at Medium Concern. And the number of worksite clusters 
increased, moving from Medium to High Concern for the first time since Public 
Health started tracking this metric in early March. 

There was also an uptick in the percentage of Emergency Department Visits. The only 
measure indi-cating Low Concern is the number of sewer systems with a two-fold 
increase in viral load. 

When a sector-specific metric moves up in level of concern, additional safety measures 
are imple-mented, and remain in place until the level of concern has dropped 
for two weeks. For example, alt-hough there has been some fluctuation in the elevated 
level of concerns at nursing homes based on their outbreak numbers, and they move 
between Medium and High Concern for a couple of weeks now, the enhanced protection 
measures that were put in place under High Concern are still in place - requiring 
staff to wear N95 respirators at all times in the facility, conducting routine testing twice 
weekly for staff and weekly for residents, regardless of vaccination status, and moving, 
where possi-ble, communal activities outdoors. 

“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families 
who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, 
Director of Public Health. “Since July 4 is right around the corner and many of us 
are looking forward to celebrating Independence Day with family and friends, it is 
important to remember that many of our loved ones may be older adults, or have serious 
underlying health conditions, or not yet been vaccinated and boosted. Given the 
rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations, and the increased circulation of 
the more in-fectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, it is extra important to take steps that 
reduce the risk of trans-mission especially over the long holiday weekend; this helps 
us protect ourselves, our families, and our community. With a little planning, you can 
have a great time celebrating while keeping each oth-er safe. Please be sure to remind 
friends and family to stay home and skip the celebration if they feel sick or have tested 
positive. It is also a great idea for everyone to test themselves before getting to-gether, 
ideally on the day of the gathering. It is always best to celebrate outdoors, and if people 
come indoors for part of the gathering, wearing a mask is advisable, particularly if 
there are individuals at high risk of severe illness should they become infected. Let’s 
use the tools at hand to enjoy our summer, our holiday, and our time with others.” 

Today, Public Health reported 10 additional deaths and 7,324 new positive cases. Of 
the 10 new deaths reported today, six people were between the ages of 65-79 and four 
people were aged 80 years or older. Of the 10 newly reported deaths, nine had underlying 
health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 32,344. 

Public Health has reported a total of 3,125,299 positive cases of COVID-19 across all 
areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 13.8%. 

There are 791 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available 
for more than 12,184,364 individuals, with 23% of people testing positive. 

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department 
of Pub-lic Health are available on the Public Health website at http://www. 

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