By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County could potentially move into the next tier of the state’s reopening roadmap “sometime in October” if current coronavirus figures continue their downward trend following the Labor Day weekend, health officials said Wednesday.

County public health director Barbara Ferrer said during a press briefing that moving to the state’s “red” tier would allow for a wider array of business reopenings.

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According to Ferrer, there are approximately 800 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, along with another 1,148 cases of coronavirus, bringing the cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 256,148.

Currently L.A. County is in the “purple” – or most restrictive – level of the state’s four-tier virus-tracking roadmap.

With a seven-day average testing positivity rate around 3.2%, the county is poised to move to a less-restrictive tier, but average new case numbers are still above the state threshold of seven cases per 100,000 for advancing to the “red” tier.

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Ferrer said numbers in all categories have been trending downward over the past six weeks, following a spike seen after the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“If we don’t see a surge in cases and hospitalizations associated with activities over Labor Day and we continue to reduce our rate of community
transmission over the weeks ahead, we could enter tier 2, which is a less
restrictive tier, sometime in October,” Ferrer said.

Health officials have said repeatedly they will not consider any more
business reopenings in the county until at least late September, and Ferrer herself came under fire last week when she suggested the county wouldn’t reopen until after the presidential election.

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Ferrer later clarified her statements, saying there was no connection between reopening plans and the election.