LA County remains in tier one, but progress seen in other areas

by Steven Felschundneff |

Data showing that progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the County of Los Angeles is continuing has public officials cautiously optimistic that many more businesses will be able to open soon.

“Now that we have seen stabilizing or declining numbers across our metrics, and Los Angeles County didn’t experience a post Labor Day surge similar to the increases seen after Memorial Day and July 4th, the Board of Supervisors approved several public health recommendations for the staggered reopening of several sectors permitted by the state for counties in Tier 1 of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” the county announced in a news release Wednesday.

Over the next 10 days, several sectors of the economy, including nail salons, playgrounds and malls will be allowed to reopen once they implement the required protocols for infection control and distancing.

Public health officials announced that nail salons and indoor malls may reopen at 25 percent capacity, but all food courts and common areas must remain closed at malls.

Outdoor playgrounds may reopen at the discretion of cities and the county parks department. However, there are several restrictions including face coverings for parents and children age two and older, while avoiding people not in their household. People must sanitize their hands before and after using playground equipment and eating and drinking are not allowed on the playground. Indoor playgrounds remain closed.

Breweries and wineries will be allowed to reopen soon but only if they partner with a service providing food.

Although Los Angeles County met the state’s threshold to advance to tier two last week, the case rate in the county did not stay below 7 cases per 100,000 residents, so the county must remain in tier one for the time being. The current adjusted daily case rate in the county is 7.3 cases per 100,000 residents.

There is still some very good news as public health continues to see progress in key indicators including positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths.

The county’s test positivity rate has fallen significantly from an average of about 8 percent in July to about 3 percent in September. This is the lowest test positivity rate observed since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Hospitalizations have remained fairly steady the past several weeks after declining significantly since the middle of July when the county experienced an average of about 2,200 hospitalizations per day. As of September 24, the L.A. County is averaging 743 hospitalizations per day, which is the lowest number in six months.

On Wednesday public health confirmed 30 new deaths and 1,063 new cases of COVID-19 in the county. Since its first report in early March there have been 270,299 cumulative cases of COVID-19 and a total of 6,576 deaths.

Here in Claremont the number of new cases has been reduced to a trickle with just six new cases reported in the past week. Claremont and its unincorporated areas have 412 cumulative cases and 13 deaths.

Institutional outbreaks in the city have slowed as well with no new ones reported. Cumulative cases include: Claremont Manor, two staff members and two residents; Mount San Antonio Gardens, eight staff, 10 residents and four deaths; Mountain view center two staff 16 residents and four deaths; Oak Park Manor, one resident; Sunrise of Claremont, five staff and two residents; Western Assemblies Home 13 staff, six residents and one death.


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