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Public Health Cautiously Optimistic that L.A. County is On the Right Path

Seven-day daily average of diagnostic tests provides a fuller picture of the direction LA County is headed in with testing. – Graph courtesy of Public Health

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) expressed cautious optimism Monday that community spread of COVID-19 in L.A. County has slowed and that other key indicators are stabilizing.

The positive trends can be attributed to a variety of things, including the decreased opportunities for transmission, particularly in high-risk settings. Several weeks ago, bars were closed, and the indoor operations of a variety of businesses and institutions were moved outdoors.

“Simply put, closing the bars worked,” she said. “It also worked to limit indoor dining at restaurants and to move the operations of various businesses and institutions outdoors.”

Monday’s seven-day average of cases is around 2,600 cases per day. This is down from a couple weeks ago where the county was seeing over 3,000 cases per day. The seven-day positivity rate has remained mostly flat over the month of July, hovering between 8 and 8.8 percent. And finally, hospitalizations, which is a key indicator of health system capacity, is on a positive trend with 2,000 hospitalizations on average. This number had ticked up to 2,200 in the middle of July. Although all these key indicators are still too high, the plateauing of the trends is encouraging.

Public Health confirmed 12 new deaths and 1,634 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. To date, Public Health has identified 193,788 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 4,701 deaths.

There are 1,784 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Of hospitalized patients, 30% are in the ICU and 18% are currently ventilated.

August 3, 2020

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