Los Angeles County may reopen more widely in October, officially says – Deadline

The county’s public health director said Wednesday that Los Angeles County could reopen sometime in October. But, warned that Barbara Ferrer, the number after labor could potentially go ahead.

LA County is at the most restrictive, or “purple” level of California’s four-level virus-tracking roadmap. The county already has a significantly lower seven-day average test positivity rate – about 3.2% – to move to a less restrictive level, but average new case numbers are still very high, currently averaging 8.1 cases per 100,000 residents. The state limit is 7 cases per 100,000 to pursue a less restrictive “red” tier.

Ferrer said the numbers in all categories have been trending downward for the past six weeks, following a spike seen after the fourth day of the July holiday weekend.

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If we do not see an upsurge in activity related cases and hospitalization on Labor Day and we continue to reduce our rate of community transmission in the coming weeks, we may enter Tier 2, which is less restrictive in October. Is the level. , ”Said Ferrer.

This is when Ferrer commented on a conference call with teachers last week.

“We do not realistically predict that we will move to either tier two. [red] Or during the reopening of our K-through-12 schools, at least until after the election, later, you know, in early November, “Ferrer said on the call, a recording of which was previously obtained by KFI Radio And was aired.

Ferrer then denied on Tuesday that the plan to keep LA school campuses closed amid the coronovirus epidemic was politically motivated and meant to hurt President Donald Trump’s electoral opportunities.

Considered through that lens, Ferrer’s most recent statement is a surprising change.

Health officials have repeatedly said they would not consider reopening any business in the county until at least September, after determining whether the virus cases and hospital labor exacerbated after the Labor Day holiday weekend – The way they did after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

If the county gets its average new case number below 7 per 100,000 residents, and maintains that level for two weeks, LA will be able to move to the state’s “red” level. This will allow more businesses to reopen theaters and gyms to potential businesses, as well as school campuses for in-learning.

Ferrer said the county is now seeing its lowest average test-positive of the epidemic.

“Last week, we saw the lowest positivity rate, which was around 3.4%,” he said. “This means that about 97% of the tests people conducted for COVID-19 were negative. A month ago, in mid-August, the rate was around 5%. So we are happy to see the progress that we have made and we are very hopeful that this number will keep on increasing. ”

Of course, the county’s test numbers are also below.

The county’s Director of Health Services, Drs. Christina Gali, said total test numbers had fallen over the past week, as some testing centers were closed due to the poor quality of wildfires in the region due to the testing. She said that some testing sites have two-thirds of their placement slots available.

The daily number of cases has almost halved from more than 20,000 trials in early July, to a 7-day daily average of 9,772 on Wednesday in early July.

Ferrer again warned that the impact of the Labor Day holiday weekend has yet to bear the number of cases, as the virus has a 14-day incubation period. He also said that upcoming weekends and winter holidays, including the start of Rosh Hasanah this weekend, may cause people to relax about social distortions and other preventive measures.

“The autumn and winter months are filled with special times that we all look forward to,” she said. “There are many secular and religious holidays that we usually celebrate by spending time with our friends and extended family members. And the epidemic has been difficult and frustrating in many ways, including limitations on how we can safely celebrate. I encourage all of us to think about how we want to modify our plans so that we can share the joy of the holiday while reducing the risk of transmitting the dangerous and sometimes deadly virus. ”

Gali urged people to take a flu shot, noting that as flu season approaches, people who contract both influenza and COVID-19 may be susceptible to serious illness.

The county reported 31 coronovirus-related deaths on Wednesday, although one of those fatalities was announced Tuesday by health officials in Long Beach. Long Beach announced two additional deaths on Wednesday afternoon. The total number in the county on Wednesday was 6,305.

The county also announced 1,148 new confirmed cases, while Long Beach added 40 cases and Pasadena reported six, raising a cumulative total of 256,194 from the onset of the epidemic.

Since Tuesday, 804 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the county. Gali noted that the sharp decline seen in hospitals during the last month appears to have slowed or leveled. But the number of hospitalizations remained dramatically lower than they were a month earlier.

City News Service contributed to this report.