As COVID Cases Plummet, LA County's Abrupt Economic Reopening is Impressive
LOS ANGELES — Just three months ago, LA County was considered the region hit hardest by the pandemic. "L.A. County’s COVID-19 hospitalization spike is now off the charts," read the alarming KTLA headline. Hundreds of Angelenos died each week. Doom and gloom seemed to have engulfed the City of Angels.
Ah, what a difference a few months makes!
Due to raised awareness and widespread vaccinations, according to state data released just Tuesday — LA County’s rate of new coronavirus cases had dropped to as low as 1.9 per day per 100,000 people. In fact, the State of California's seven-day coronavirus positivity rate fell to 1.2% on Tuesday, which marks the lowest rate in the nation.
Los Angeles hasn't seen a turnaround this stunning since Magic Johnson's "turnaround" the baseline, followed by the famous skyhook to beat the Celtics. As for the Staples Center, it's back up and running just in the nick of time for the NBA playoffs.
Even Disneyland is set to reopen Friday, after being shut down for over a year. Most of all, LA's now on the verge of entering the "holy grail" of the tier system:
If LA County can sustain this current pace of low daily new cases — for just one more week — it'll qualify for the yellow tier, which is the least restrictive tier of all.
Upon entering the yellow tier, the state plans to reopen the county for business.
To put it simply: the spread of COVID has slowed to such an extent in LA County that most businesses are on the cusp of being able to operate indoors. This will undoubtedly mark, as the Patch article puts it, "the closest thing to a return to normal since the start of the pandemic."
The rate of spread has been so low of late, across LA County, that many vaccinated residents can't help but pinch themselves. After all, Angelenos haven't experienced such freedoms for almost a year now, according to health officials.
"It's so encouraging to see the work we're doing together having such a profound effect on the health and well-being of people all across our communities," Dr. Barbara Ferrer recently told the LA Times.
LA County and California, as a whole, went from topping the list of most daily new cases to boasting of having the lowest coronavirus case rate in the nation. No wonder some are calling this "a stunning recovery."
At a recent panel discussion, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services secretary, said he expects by the fall — Californians will return to mostly doing stuff they were doing before the pandemic struck. Of course, only time will tell.
So far, so good.