Concerned with the stubborn spread of the coronavirus in Los Angeles, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, announced Friday that she has requested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to look into why the region has been so slow in showing signs of recovery, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Birx identified L.A. as one of three areas where the persistent spread of the virus is particularly troubling, along with Washington, D.C., and Chicago, adding that experts don’t fully understand why these regions are struggling while other parts of the country are making significant progress in combating the disease.
“Even though Washington has remained closed, L.A. has remained closed, Chicago has remained closed, we still see these ongoing cases,” she said. Brix wants the CDC to work with those cities, “to really understand where are these new cases coming from, and what do we need to do to prevent them in the future.”
Los Angeles County accounts for nearly half of California’s coronavirus deaths, with the county’s toll reaching 2,021 on Thursday, and 56 percent of the state’s nearly 90,000 confirmed infections, with 42,000 cases.
“This is a very sad milestone for us,” County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said when the death toll exceeded 2,000.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said it’s still too dangerous to hasten the reopening of L.A.
“I wish that we could speed things up,” she said. “The virus is still out there waiting for us to let our guard down.”
Although the average daily death toll has not lessened in weeks, there are some positive signs for Los Angeles. On Wednesday, for instance, the transmission rate in L.A. reached its lowest level since March.
L.A. County has also seen a 12 percent decrease in its latest seven-day average of deaths per day, and a 15 percent decrease in its most recent three-day average for hospitalizations per day, Ferrer announced Thursday.
“As a community, we’ve done this together, and this progress is a direct reflection of what all of you in your day-to-day lives have been able to accomplish,” Ferrer said, but also warned against the temptation to become less diligent as the summer officially gets underway.
“Through our recovery journey, as we’re all out of our homes more, it may become more difficult to slow the spread,” she said, “but it is far from impossible.”
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