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COVID-19 Rates Are Down in LA, But Health Officials Are Worried About Labor Day Weekend

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Palisades Park in Santa Monica. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
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Things are (finally) looking up in the local fight against COVID-19.

Despite another day of new infections (1,600 reported) and deaths (58 in the past 24 hours), the community infection rate in L.A. County has dropped, meaning every positive case is infecting fewer people.

The case rate has stayed below 200 cases per 100,000 residents, a key indicator of how well the county is controlling the spread of the virus. That number has stayed in check over the past two days, but it needs to drop to fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 residents to come off the state watch list.

Doing so could potentially allow more businesses to reopen, and some schools to conduct in-person learning.

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But the good news isn't a free pass to see friends and family without proper precautions.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says we'll backslide if people relax mask wearing or physical distancing, especially over yet another holiday weekend.

"Let's acknowledge that Labor Day is a celebration of workers," Ferrer said today in her media briefing, "and the best way to keep workers safe is to stop transmitting this virus."

The public health department is trying to avoid a surge in cases like we saw after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

It "would not be a good idea" to move foward with reopening plans until we get past the holiday weekend "with people acting appropriately," Ferrer said.

the Public Health Department and officials from surrounding cities are considering closing beaches and trails in anticipation of the holiday, she added.

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