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Los Angeles County averaged less than 1,000 positive COVID-19 cases over the weekend—its sharpest decline since the early months of the pandemic.

While L.A. Public Health noted that Monday’s numbers may represent a lag in reporting by cities, the 422 positive cases represent the fourth straight day under 1,000.

Over the weekend, 644 positive COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday, 793 were recorded on Saturday and 947 were recorded on Friday, with deaths also seeing a decline to a low of six, Monday.

At its peak, L.A. County reported 18,313 positive cases on Jan. 8, in what L.A. Public Health believes was a holiday-related surge.

“Let’s not go back to a place where we have more spread that would require reinstating state state and county mandatory safety restrictions again,” L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “We ask everyone to please exercise great caution and good judgement in these next couple of weeks to avoid any surges in cases.”

Hospitalization also dropped below 1,000 with Monday’s 865 being the lowest number recorded since November 4, 2020.

“These numbers aren’t just progress on paper,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, Monday. “They are really having an impact and vaccines are working—we know this because for the first time patients over 65 are fewer than patients under 65.”

L.A. County moved into the “red tier” of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy this week, and in order to move down to the “orange tier,” the county would have to average less than four positive cases per 100,000 residents.

With L.A. County’s population being around 10 million, the average case rate would have to fall below 400 per day.

The average case rate would loosen if California achieves 4 million vaccination in designated “highest risk” communities. If the vaccination goal is reached, L.A. County would need less than six cases per 100,000 residents, or 600 cases per day.

LA Weekly