Asked on Thursday as he announced an indoor mask order if the county might consider re-implementing other health restrictions — such as capacity limits and physical distancing — L.A. Public Health Officer Muntu Davis said, “Everything is on the table if things continue to get worse.”
On Friday, things got worse. The county’s average daily rate of new cases, which was only one per 100,000 residents on June 15 when the state reopened, rose to 8.2 per 100,000. The fact that that was up a full point from just 24 hours earlier gives a sense of the trajectory. It’s just one example of what public health officials call the “alarming trends of increased community spread.”
Another of those alarming trends is the number of cases. Even as the number of tests fall, the number of cases is skyrocketing. On Tuesday, the 5-day average of new cases was 1,095. That number was an increase of more than 500% in just one month. New cases over the 48 hours from Wednesday through Friday went from 1,315 county confirmed infections to 1,902. That’s a 45% increase in two days. The last time daily cases were above 1,900 was early February.
The number of people hospitalized in Los Angeles County due to the virus jumped to 462 on Friday, up from 452 on Thursday and 406 on Wednesday, according to state figures. The number of people in intensive care crept back over the 100 mark, reaching 103 on Friday, up from 96 on Thursday. The number of people hospitalized has been climbing steadily for the past three weeks, and is now double the number reported when Covid health restrictions were lifted statewide on June 15.
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The rolling-average rate of people testing positive for the virus also continued to climb, reaching 3.8% on Friday, up from 3.7% Wednesday and well above the 0.3% rate from early June, and 1.2% on June 15.