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California has a record low COVID-19 positivity rate

As the Golden State faces a triple threat of respiratory hazards – destructive fires, toxic air quality, and a deadly pandemic – there is a faint glimmer of hope.

Over the past seven days, only 3.5 percent of COVID-19 tests in California have tested positive, the lowest rate since the state began reporting data in late March. A month ago, the positive test rate was almost double.

The number of new confirmed cases has dropped to its lowest level since mid-June, according to an analysis of state data from the Times. Hospitalizations for COVID-1

9 have dropped to their lowest levels since the beginning of April, with 2,869 patients in hospital beds on Saturday.

These positive signs come as California cuts turnaround times for coronavirus tests. Dr Erica Pan, state public health official, said last week that labs are now producing test results in an average of 1.3 days.

The data left officials cautiously optimistic about California’s progress against the pandemic as the state nears the end of its sixth month of residency orders. They urged residents to stay alert and continue to take precautions that are working: wear face covers in public, observe social distancing with anyone outside the household, and stay home whenever possible.

Officials said there are two factors that could jeopardize the positive test rate: a drop in testing during the fires and persistent questions about whether Labor Day meetings caused an increase in broadcasting.

It can take up to two weeks for the COVID-19 virus to nightmare in the human body. California saw a spate of cases, hospitalizations and deaths after Memorial Day weekend, which included festive gatherings, graduation parties, massive police brutality protests and the reopening of bars, which were subsequently closed again. .

Health officials are “very anxious to understand” whether meetings, parties and other activities over the last three-day weekend, which ended a week ago, will lead to another spike in cases, “which then leads to more hospitalizations and more. dead, ”said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“Indeed, we are somewhat challenged to get good data because we both had extreme heat and we had fires that created unhealthy air conditions,” continued Ferrer. “What, unfortunately, this has led to are far fewer tests.”

The ash and smoke from the Bobcat fire were so strong that L.A. County was forced to temporarily close some test sites in the San Gabriel Valley. But, Ferrer said, the vast majority of testing centers are open. He urged residents to get tested if they have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or have associated with someone who has, even at work or at home.

Southern California officials are watching with interest and caution as San Diego and Orange counties have slowly begun to reopen indoor businesses. Both counties received state approval for the reopening halls of restaurants, museums, cinemas and places of worship at 25% of capacity.

Last week, Los Angeles County recorded 9.6 broadcasts per 100,000 residents. That rate must fall below 7 in 100,000 for two consecutive weeks before Newsom allows restaurants, theaters and other non-essential businesses to reopen.

For now, no Los Angeles County school campus will be able to reopen to all K-12 students until at least November. However, schools will be able to offer in-person tuition for children with special needs, as long as campus occupancy does not exceed 10% of the student body.

Public health officials have received 59 requests from individual schools to reopen for “students who cannot be served virtually,” Ferrer said.

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