Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


The First Covid Case In LA Was Discovered One Year Ago Today

Palm trees stand behind a street art piece by artist Pony Wave depicting two people kissing while wearing face masks on Venice Beach on March 21, 2020 in Venice, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

The first case of COVID-19 in L.A. County was discovered one year ago today, Jan. 26, 2020.

Since then, more than one million people in the county have tested positive for the virus, and nearly 16,000 people have died.

Sadly, it's far from over. January 2021 is on track to be the county's deadliest month in the pandemic yet. Today, L.A. County health officials reported 291 new deaths and 5,927 new cases of the coronavirus.

Hospitalizations tend to be a good indicator of where the pandemic is heading. As of today, there are 6,307 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in L.A. County. Good news: that's about 1,600 fewer people than two weeks ago.

Support for LAist comes from

Yesterday, the state lifted the Regional Stay-At-Home Order and moved all counties back into the "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" color-coded tiers. Los Angeles County, along with the majority of the state, followed the state's lead and re-entered the most restrictive "purple tier," meaning outdoor dining can reopen (that will happen on Friday). Spa services and several other sectors can now re-open indoor services, at limited capacity.

County health director Barbara Ferrer said Angelenos should remain vigilant:

“COVID-19 transmission remains very high in Los Angeles County. And while we issued a new health order that allows some businesses to reopen, this does not mean that we have stopped the spread of the virus. The simple fact of the matter is that if we are not more careful than we have been in the past when sectors have reopened, case counts will rise again, creating the possibility of another surge. I know we’ve been battling this virus for a year now and all of us are tired of the restrictions, but we need to continue to be vigilant for a while longer."

Here's the article we published about the new coronavirus, one year ago, today:


Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletters. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.