Los Angeles has seen a steady decrease in the amount of daily new coronavirus cases in recent weeks. This news comes after the number of new cases in the county had surged in December of 2020 and eventually reached an all time high in January.
This is likely something that would’ve been unimaginable at the beginning of this new year as a result. To put this decline into perspective, on Jan. 4, the county reached a record 21,940 daily new cases according to the county’s Department of Public Health. As of Feb. 8, that number is down to only 2,741 daily new cases; a whopping 87% decrease.
It’s safe to say that this drop can be explained by two main factors: the end of the holiday season in which many gatherings took place (thus facilitating the spread of the virus) as well as the effective enforcement of the restrictions issued by the county. Those restrictions include a cap of 15 people from no more than three houses for private gatherings, a prohibition of indoor gatherings, and mandatory mask wearing and social distancing.
With cases going down, businesses like barber shops and nail salons are also starting to reopen. The stay-at-home order that had been issued had been lifted on Jan. 26. To avoid further spread of the virus as a result of this mass reopening, inspectors have been issuing citations to businesses that are failing to comply with the COVID-19 restrictions. Restaurants have also started reopening as they have been allowed to continue outdoor dining.
However, it’s still too early to celebrate. Officials say that this doesn’t mean that people should stop following the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, especially as these numbers are still remarkably high in comparison to the amount of cases reported before the influx the county experienced in December. Although at this point it seems like a negligible number, 2,741 daily cases is still more than twice as many cases as the average number of new daily cases in October: about 1,212.
In addition, the number of deaths is steadily growing, and ICUs continue to be strained. Vaccines are in limited supply despite the growing demand. Cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare, possibly deadly disease that affects children exposed to coronavirus, have grown to 75.
On top of all of this, worry filled the air in the days leading up to the 55th Super Bowl that took place this Sunday. Officials feared that the game would become a superspreader event as people attended watch parties that did not follow the COVID-19 restrictions set in place. With the Super Bowl now over with, only time will tell whether or not Los Angeles sees another surge in cases.
Naturally, instead of seeing this as a cause for celebration, we should use it to motivate ourselves to maintain our level of progress in ending the COVID-19 pandemic in our county. If we were able to lower the amount of new cases from 21,940 to 2,741 in a matter of a month, imagine how close we could be to finally seeing the end of this incredibly troublesome pandemic if we keep following the guidelines and restrictions. Thus, don’t let that hope die out. Do anything you can to prevent the spread of the virus.