LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County’s health officer noted Monday downward trends in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations while reminding residents that past complacency and deviations from health orders led to upward spikes.
“The work we have all done as a community and the sacrifices we are making are working,” Dr. Muntu Davis said. “We’re preventing COVID-19 infections, including serious illness and deaths. Second, if we can maintain this lower transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools and more businesses reopening or someday moving their operations back indoors.
“But what I’d like to stress is the importance of all of us learning from our recent past and the spikes in cases, hospitalizations as well as deaths in our community that we experienced in July,” he said. “As we continue our journey of recovery, we must all proceed with caution. All of us must own our roles in this recovery.”
On Monday, 13 new coronavirus-related deaths and 1,198 new cases were reported.
To date, the county has reported 5,560 fatalities and 232,937 cases of the virus.
The number of people hospitalized in the county stood at 1,219 as of Monday, continuing a plunge from late-July averages of over 2,000.
Davis walked through charts showing the trajectory of daily numbers of new cases, positivity rates, hospitalization numbers and deaths which dramatically in mid-July on the heels of widespread business reopenings and the Fourth of July weekend.
The number has since trended downward, following more tight restrictions such as forcing many businesses to operate outdoors only.
In the past week, health officials noted that the county now meets five of the state’s six virus-monitoring criteria, falling short only on the rate of new cases per 100,000 residents.
The county will remain on the state’s list until that rate of spread slows.
As of Monday, L.A. County was one of 35 counties on the watchlist Orange County was removed from the list over the weekend.
“Together we must all take our roles seriously and be diligent,” Davis said. “It is everyone’s goal to get to a place where we have a safer reopening. But community transmission rates must continue to decrease if we are to get to this place, including where schools can reopen in a way that is safer for students, teachers and staff members.
“Cautious reopening doesn’t mean that everything will go back to normal and that it will return to the way it was before COVID-19,” he said.
“Cautious reopening means we take to heart the lessons we learned from July and move forward in a new normal of making the infection-control practice part of our day-to-day lives for the foreseeable future.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)