Los Angeles County’s public health director today hailed work by residents and businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19, noting that the county now meets five of the state’s six coronavirus-monitoring benchmarks.
Barbara Ferrer expressed optimism about the positive trends in most coronavirus-tracking measures. She said the county falls short only in the rate of new cases, which stands at a 14-day daily average of 295 new cases per 100,000 residents. The state benchmark is 100 or less.
But Ferrer said the county meets other benchmarks for drops in hospitalizations, the seven-day average positivity rate — now at 6 percent — testing capacity and availability of intensive-care unit beds and ventilators.
That, on the same day that Governor Gavin Newsom added a number of additional counties to the state’s watch list because they did not meet those measures. Until a county can meet all six state benchmarks, it will remain on the state’s monitoring list, which prevents reopening of schools and many businesses. As of Monday morning, 42 of the 58 counties in the state were on the list, although San Diego County is expected to be removed by Tuesday.
Ferrer announced another 19 deaths due to the virus on Monday, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 5,273. She also announced another 1,185 cases, noting that the numbers of new cases and deaths are typically lower early in the week due to reduced testing and reporting over the weekend.
The countywide total number of cases since the pandemic began was 223,233 as of Monday.
Despite the continued reporting of new cases and deaths, Ferrer praised the work of residents to adhere to restrictions by wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing.
“I hope this data reminds all of us of the power our actions have in preventing serious illness and saving lives, and again I want to just say how grateful I am for everyone who’s doing their part to make sure we slow the spread of COVID-19,” Ferrer said. “We do still have a ways to go to reduce community transmission enough to be able to have confidence that the timing would be right to reopen our schools and get more people back to work.
“We don’t want infections from the community coming back into our schools and creating an increase of outbreaks that then increases the amount of community transmission we’re going to see.”