As Los Angeles ruminated on additional safety measures, the county’s COVID-19 risk level moved from “high” to “medium” on Thursday.
L.A. County was considered to be in the CDC’s ‘high’ level for weeks, and contemplated returning to its indoor mask policy, but on July 28, L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said a downward trend in COVID-19 metrics showed the promise of a return to “medium.”
“We’re hopeful that the recent declines in cases will bring the start of some declines in hospital admissions and then of course, deaths in a few weeks,” Ferrer said in a virtual briefing last week. “Every death does leave a huge gap in the community, of family and friends.
Now L.A. County’s hospitalization has fallen below 10 per 100,000 residents, with a slim 9.9 average, according to its Thursday numbers.
Despite the recent drop in hospitalizations, the COVID-19 infection rate has remained consistently above 12% and on Thursday, the single-day count was 4,345, a slight drop from 4,864 seven days ago.
On Thursday, the CDC also announced that it was dropping its recommendation to quarantine for individuals who come in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
It is estimated that 95% of U.S. residents have some level of immunity, whether it be from prior infection or vaccination.
With that immunity in mind, the CDC decided the risk of coming in contact with an infected person is not as high as it was in the start of the pandemic.
“The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” said the CDC’s Greta Massetti. “High levels of population immunity due to vaccination and previous infection and the many available tools to protect the general population, and protect people at higher risk, allow us to focus on protecting people from serious illness from Covid-19.”
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