L.A.’s COVID-19 rate of transmission remains low

Sloane Bozzi, News Editor

Los Angeles County has the most cases in the U.S., as other hotspots like New York have seen a decrease in the number of new cases.

The Centers for Disease Control forecasts an upward trend in the number of deaths nationwide. L.A. County currently holds the record for the most confirmed cases in the nation.

We have compiled data and guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center to provide an update for L.A. County. Data is up to date as of Aug. 28. Here is your weekly COVID-19 update.

Total cases:

Total count of cases and deaths as of Aug. 28. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in L.A. County on Jan. 26, the number of positive cases continues to rise. Over 2% of L.A. County’s population of 10 million has COVID-19.

COVID-19 curve of cumulative cases in L.A. County as of Aug. 28. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)


There are 1,116 COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized in L.A. County. 356 COVID-19 positive patients are in the Intensive Care Unit. The county currently has 889 available ICU beds.

The state’s goal is to keep hospitalization increases below 10%. L.A. County’s hospitalizations are currently at -3.9%.

Race and ethnicity:

L.A. County’s data shows cases and deaths disproportionately affect people of color.


The L.A. County Department of Public Health reported that Latinos make up 58.4% of cases with data on race and ethnicity, while the white population accounts for 12.3% of cases with data on race and ethnicity. Latinos account for 50.5% of all COVID-19 deaths.


Local official updates:

Rate of transmission remains low

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti reported that the rate of transmission is at 0.92% during a press conference on Wednesday. This rate of transmission means that every person infected with the COVID-19 virus passes it to an average of 0.92 other people.

Officials say that a lower transmission rate over a consistent period of time will allow for certain shuttered businesses to be reopened. Low transmission rates could also indicate a path for the reopening of schools.

“This is the same as last week and positive news that what we’re doing is working. That any time it’s under one, we should see caseloads come down as we are seeing,” Garcetti said.

More testing in California

Gov. Gavin Newsom said California entered another partnership that would provide 150,000 additional tests per day up and down the state during a press conference on Wednesday.

He said the partnership contains contractual provisions to guarantee a 24-48 hour turnaround time for test results.

Newsom provided a breakdown of the cost of testing under the new partnership. More tests will be less expensive for the state.

“If we’re going to sustainably reopen, we have to have the testing capacity, we have to have results, and a much more efficient period of time to allow us to make decisions on contact tracing, again isolation, quarantine, and the like,” Newsom said.

Independent contracts for these partnerships will be made public, according to Newsom.

What’s open:
Grocery stores
Essential retail
Some non-essential retail with modifications
Parks and beaches with modifications
Golf courses
Hotels with modifications
Shared residential pools
Nail salons (outdoors with modifications)
Indoor Hair salons (with modifications)
Gyms (outdoors with modifications)
Open-air shopping centers, such as swap-meets (with modifications)
Zoos (outdoors with modifications)

What’s closed:
Indoor dining at restaurants
Indoor houses of worship
Indoor gyms
Tattoo shops

Face masks are still required in public. Gatherings should be limited to only people in your household.


The L.A. County website lists 166 testing locations available for both walk-up and drive-up testing. Testing is available by appointment only.

A comprehensive map of testing locations can be found here.