With over 350,000 test results now reported to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, that agency’s director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, announced on Monday that the positivity rate has dropped from 14 percent to 9 percent. To date, the department has identified 38,451 positive test results, according to its announcement.
This, she said, is the result of “more people being tested.”
But the director issued words of caution, as well.
She estimated that, over the past few days, one million L.A. residents have left their homes to enjoy reopened businesses and outdoor spaces. “Just as a reminder,” she said,” If the rate of people who are positive from COVID-19 is about four percent, we might be able to estimate that as many as 40,000 of the one million people who were out and about, could be infected.”
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“And,” she extrapolated, “if these people infect just one other person, that would be 80,000 people that would be newly infected with COVID-19.”
She said that Health Department inspectors have fanned out in recent days to over 1,500 local businesses and found nearly 1,000 of them were not in compliance.
Ferrer also provided an update on multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children. She said only four children in L.A. County with this syndrome also tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody. “But,” she said, “there are an additional 21 suspect cases…that may be associated with COVID-19.” Fortunately, said Ferrer, there have been no related deaths.
Asked about the newly-relaxed variance rules announced on Monday by the state, Ferrer said she had not been over them in-depth, but if L.A. County could meet the rules, it would apply for such a variance, “just to allow us to make a local decision.”
In terms of how those variances could help bring sports teams — and eventually fans — back to stadiums, the director said L.A. County would follow the directives of the state.
But, noted Ferrer as she took off her mask emblazoned with the Dodgers logo in order to speak, “I would assume, for the next while, that this would be spectator free, but I know for all of us we’d be very excited to be able to see our teams getting ready to be able to play again.”
The director reported 18 additional deaths as a result of coronavirus, for a total of 1,839.
In related news, Cedars-Sinai announced Monday that it has begun a phased reopening of its medical offices, offering in-person appointments and rescheduling medically necessary surgeries and procedures postponed due to COVID-19.
Telehealth options for care, which the health care organization says have proven popular, will continue.
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