LA County COVID-19 Hospitalizations Continue Decline, Approach Early Pandemic Levels

Los Angeles County reported 815 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths Sunday, bringing the county’s totals to 267,801 cases and 6,514 fatalities.

Officials said the relatively lower number of cases and deaths reflects reporting delays over the weekend.

Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline to levels not seen since the beginning of the pandemic, with 692 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 — a drop from 715 on Saturday. Of those patients, 29% are in intensive care.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Health Department said on Saturday that the county has not experienced a significant surge in cases associated with the Labor Day holiday, but the numbers continue to indicate there is still wide-spread community transmission of COVID-19, with younger people driving new infections.

“I’m grateful that so many people are doing their part to protect their fellow neighbors, workers and family members from COVID-19, and it is clear that the actions people are taking have reduced the number of people hospitalized and dying,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Sunday.

“We still have a ways to go, but our most recent data shows us that the more people use the tools at our disposal, the more we decrease transmission. With less community transmission, it is significantly safer to continue our recovery journey and consider measured opportunities for a small number of additional re-openings.”

Local nail salons have been awaiting word from the county on whether they can resume indoor operations. The state has cleared the business to reopen, but the county has kept them closed, pending word on a possible post-Labor Day increase that health officials fear might be exacerbated by further reopenings.

A surge in cases could also threaten the county’s ability to move out of the most restrictive tier of the state’s coronavirus economic-reopening roadmap. What had been declining case numbers put the county on the verge of moving from the restrictive “purple” tier to the less-onerous “red” tier, which would allow more businesses to reopen, including movie theaters.

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