By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported 989 newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 51 additional deaths, bringing countywide totals to 233,777 confirmed cases and 5,605 reported deaths.

A pedestrian wears a face mask while walking past people dining outdoors in Los Angeles on Aug. 25. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty)

Tuesday marked the first time the number of reported new cases dropped below 1,000 since the beginning of June. The number of new cases was also a drastic decrease from the 3,200 that were being reported daily in mid-to-late July.

Health officials also reported that the county was meeting five of the state’s six key indicators that would allow the county to be removed from the watchlist — failing only to meet the requirement of having fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 residents.

“Last week, we mentioned that we were showing progress on meeting the state’s benchmarks for getting off the watch list, and we are grateful for everyone’s sacrifices that have resulted in slowing the spread,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “Because of the lessons we learned from our explosion of cases in July, I need to ask that we continue to significantly modify our actions if we want to keep community transmission rates low.”

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As of Tuesday, the county was reporting 196 cases per 100,000, which would allow the health department to being accepting school waivers to allow in-person instruction for elementary school students if that number remains below 200 for 14 days straight.

“Public Health is working to assess the new guidance issued today by the State to determine what additional adjustments may be needed before opening up the waiver process,” the department said in a statement.

Of the 51 new deaths reported Tuesday, 19 people were over the age of 80, 13 were between the ages of 65 and 79, nine were between the ages of 50 and 64, two were between the ages of 30 and 49 and one was between the ages of 18 and 29.

There were 1,200 confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized Tuesday, with 32% being treated in intensive care units.

With testing results available for more than 2.2 million people, the county’s positivity rate was holding steady at 10%.

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