With COVID-19 dip, L.A. reopening may be expanded in October - Los Angeles Times
Sep 17, 2020 2 mins, 54 secs
If Los Angeles County can continue its downward trend of coronavirus cases, Los Angeles County could see additional reopenings in the next month, the county’s public health chief said Wednesday.

Barbara Ferrer, director of the county’s Department of Public Health, said during an online news conference that the daily average of new cases was still preventing the county from moving to a less restrictive tier for reopening.

The county has a daily average of 8.1 cases for each 100,000 residents.

County to move up from the most restricted tier, Ferrer said.

“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 less restrictive, some time in October,” she said.

The state has set up a color-coded tier system for reopening.

Los Angeles County is currently in the most restrictive purple tier, which indicates the virus is widespread.

One step up, the red tier indicates substantial spread, while the orange tier shows moderate spread, and the yellow tier suggests minimal spread.

To move to a less restrictive tier, counties must meet two metrics — the daily average rate of new cases and the test positivity rate — for two consecutive weeks during a three-week period.

It is at 3.2%, which Ferrer said would put the county in the orange tier if that were the only measurement required.

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“We are still very much on the edge of moving in one direction or the other,” she said.

An individual who contracts both COVID-19 and seasonal flu may have a more serious health outcome, Ferrer said.

allowing restrictions on schools to be relaxed so that children may have “all the educational opportunities they need,” she said.

Ferrer has said the county should not reopen further until the numbers from Labor Day start coming into focus next week.

The county has reported more than 256,000 infections — about one-third of the state’s more than 772,000 cases.

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Maura Dolan is the California-based legal affairs writer for the Los Angeles Times.

A California native, she graduated from UC Berkeley and has worked in Washington and Los Angeles for The Times.

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