LOS ANGELES – During a Monday press briefing the Health Officer for Los Angeles County Dr. Muntu Davis noted that for the first time health officials are seeing significant signs of the spread of COVID-19 slowing in key indicators, including daily hospitalizations and deaths.
“If we can maintain this lower transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools, and more businesses reopening, or some day moving their operations back indoors,” Davis said. “But what I’d like to stress is the importance of all of us learning from our recent past, and the spikes in cases, hospitalizations, as well as deaths in our community that we experienced in July.”
Daily hospitalizations numbers have decreased by 45% from the peak of over 2,200 in mid-July. There are 1,219 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 32% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU. The decreasing number of daily hospitalizations is one of the best indicators as it is an accurate representation of how many people are currently seriously ill from the virus.
According to the Public Health, the department has identified 232,893 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,558 deaths since March. In mid-July, the 7-day average of people passing away from COVID-19 was an average of 44 deaths per day. On August 16, the average number of deaths was at an average of 28 deaths per day.
In mid to late July, the daily reported number of new cases was around 3,200 cases per day. As of August 22, the 7-day average is 1,400 daily reported new cases.
Testing results are available for more than 2,195,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive. The department is currently seeing a 7-day average positivity rate between 5% and 6%.
Angelenos between the ages of 30 and 49 years old have the highest number of new cases among all age groups in L.A. County, the Public Health department said in a media statement this past Saturday. However, officials say that young people ages 18-30 continue to the largest group to be at risk for spreading COVID-19.
“Together we must all take our role seriously and be diligent,” Davis said. “It is everyone’s goals to get to a place where we have a safer reopen, but community transmission rates must continue to decrease, if we are to get to this point, including where schools can reopen in a way that is safer for students, teachers and staff members.”
Davis’ boss, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health wrote in a media statement released Monday,
“Thankfully, the work we have all done as a community and the sacrifices we are making are working. If we can maintain this lower rate of transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools, more businesses reopening or, someday, moving their operations back indoors. I know this has been an extraordinarily difficult time, but we must all take our roles seriously and be diligent. It is everyone’s goal to get to a place of safer reopening. But community transmission rates must continue to decrease if we are to get to this place – including where schools can reopen in a way that is safer for students, teachers and staff members.”