Los Angeles County has reached a promising new milestone in its fight to control the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus.
The transmission rate in the nation’s most populous county, home to 56% of COVID-19 deaths in California, is now in its best position since the magnitude of the outbreak became clear in March.
At the start of the pandemic’s arrival in L.A., the transmission rate of the coronavirus was high; on average, every one person infected went on to infect more than three other people. Scientists call this rate of transmission the effective transmission number, or “R.”
But by late March, after the stay-at-home order was put into effect, the effective transmission number fell to 1, meaning that, on average, every person with COVID-19 infected one other person. That rate, if sustained, means that the number of people infected remains constant.
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