Despite increasing coronavirus cases in Los Angeles, Calif., health officials there say the outbreak has actually stabilized, pointing instead to metrics like death data, hospitalizations and rate of positivity.
Los Angeles has seen more than 3,000 deaths and 80,000 positive cases for coronavirus, soaring past all other counties, according to the data from the California Department of Public Health. Riverside and San Diego trail behind Los Angeles for the highest positive cases at 13,021 and 10,486, respectively.
However, health officials say new cases aren’t the best measure of virus spread due to ramped-up testing.
“The most important data continues to be looking at our death data and our hospitalization data and our rate of positivity, and ... all of the indicators really point to the fact that we are fairly stable and that we in fact continue to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s health director, said Friday, according to the LA Times.
The rate of positivity for coronavirus tests has remained steady at about 8 percent in the county for the past several weeks, officials said, and the average number of daily hospitalizations has reportedly been decreasing since late April. Ferrer also noted the seven-day average of daily deaths has been trending downward since April 12, standing at 28 on Friday.
Ferrer reportedly acknowledged the rise in hospitalizations over the past three days, but attributes the increase to most hospitals testing all patients for the virus, regardless of cause for entry.
Health officials say they continue to monitor the metrics, and could impose tighter restrictions if needed, according to the report.
Reports surfaced last week of repeated record-breaking single-day totals of virus infections, though health officials said a backlog of about 600 test results accounting for the county’s recent figures could be to blame.