County health officials keeping close eye on data this week
By Sam Catanzaro
Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring COVID-19 data this week to see whether Labor Day gatherings cause a surge in cases, a factor that could determine the next reopening tier.
On Monday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed 16 new deaths and 652 new cases of COVID-19. According to Public Health, this data reflects a weekend reporting lag. As of Monday, Public Health has identified 261,446 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County 6,366 deaths. There are 749 people currently hospitalized and 28 percent of these people are in the ICU.
Speaking a briefing Monday, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer stated that after consecutive days of reported increases last week, the department will be keeping a close watch on numbers this week to see if there is a surge in cases.
“We do have four days of data from last week that showed a significant increase in the number of cases,” Ferrer said. “We are looking every day to see whether we have an indication that we’re going to see a surge in the numbers of cases, which would be the first place we would see an increase related to how we all behaved with each other over the Labor Day holiday.”
Ferrer noted that an increase in cases could also be attributed to the reopening of testing sites closed due to poor air quality.
According to Ferrer, a surge “could allow us to not be able to make movement into tier two in the upcoming couple of weeks.”
Los Angels County is currently in the state’s most restrictive tier due to case numbers and positivity rate. Testing results are available for more than 2,552,000 individuals with 9 percent of all people testing positive as of Monday.