As more businesses and recreational sites begin to reopen across Los Angeles County, health officials on Wednesday reported the highest single-day count of COVID-19 cases since August and urged the public to adhere to health and safety protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19.
There were 1,645 new cases reported in the county.
“While one day of a high number of cases does not indicate a trend, this is something we need to watch closely,” county public health director Barbara Ferrer said at a news briefing.
The county also recorded another 30 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the countywide total to 6,709 fatalities, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
Indoor shopping malls were allowed to open Wednesday at 25% maximum occupancy, but all food courts and common areas have to remain closed.
Officials announced last week that the county would allow some sectors to reopen for indoor settings at reduced capacity. Nail salons reopened first last Thursday at limited capacity, and card rooms were allowed to resume operations Monday for outdoor gaming only and without serving food and beverages.
The county, however, remains in the state’s most restrictive purple tier, for widespread risk, as the number of positive cases per 100,000 residents is still too high to progress in the state’s reopening stages.
Ferrer reminded the public that in order to be able to move into a less restrictive tier of reopening, the county has to have a daily case rate lower than seven new cases per 100,000, and as of Wednesday, L.A. County was at 7.4 cases.
“Our cases are now back down to levels that we were seeing in late April and early May before we began a lot of our reopening at fewer than 1,000 cases on average per day,” Ferrer said. “We need to continue to try to reduce our case numbers, and we do this by protecting workers, wearing our cloth face coverings, maintaining a 6 foot distance and washing our hands.”