Story at a glance
- Los Angeles coronavirus cases compose 42 percent of California’s overall cases.
- Public health experts warn that younger people are becoming increasingly responsible for the virus transmission.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned this week that if coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue surging, the city will return to stay-at-home orders it saw at the start of the pandemic.
ABC7 reports that this comes as California overall saw a record-high single day coronavirus death toll, recording 149 new deaths on Thursday along with 7,000 new confirmed cases. Los Angeles alone made up 1,777 new cases. Hospitalizations in the city rose to 2,037 new cases as well.
This prompted the city's health department to create a color-coded dial that registers the transmission threat level of the virus. ABC7 reported that the situation recorded an orange code, meaning the threat level is “Medium/High.”
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"If things get worse, the dial could turn to red in the coming weeks. That would place us at highest risk of infection and that would likely return to a safer at home order," Garcetti told reporters on Wednesday. He noted that the current level means people should be quarantined at home as much as possible and “assume everyone around you is infectious.”
The current seven-day average is rising, sitting at a 10.6 percent positivity rate. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines require that the percentage of positive tests must be under 10 percent for a consecutive 14 days before the state can enter Phase 3 of reopening.
Notably, according to county data, more than 51,000 of the confirmed cases are within the age group ranging from 18 to 40, aligning with public health officials’ warnings that younger Americans congregating are contributing to the spread of the disease.
In late June, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said that private gatherings are to blame.
“We cannot continue to do what we have done over the past few weeks,” Newsom said at the time. “The reality is people are mixing, and that is increasing the spread of this virus. That shouldn’t surprise anybody ... We are putting people’s lives at risk.”
L.A. County has 125,006 total confirmed cases of coronavirus, making up about 42 percent of all cases in the state. Other Southern California counties recording surges are Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties.
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