COVID-19 Update: L.A. County closer to moving to Tier 2 of state’s reopening guidelines

Sloane Bozzi, News Editor

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 to provide an update for L.A. County. Data is up to date as of Sept. 24. Here is your weekly COVID-19 update.

Total cases:

Total count of cases and deaths as of Sept. 24. (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 Los Angeles County as of Sept. 24. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)


There are 760 COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized in L.A. County. 216 COVID-19 positive patients are in the Intensive Care Unit. The county currently has 989 available ICU beds.

Race and ethnicity:

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

The breakdown of cases by race/ethnicity as of Sept.24. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

The L.A. County Department of Public Health reported that Latinos make up 37.9% of cases with data on race and ethnicity, while the white population accounts for 8.07% of cases with data on race and ethnicity. Latinos account for 51.2% of all COVID-19 deaths.

The breakdown deaths by race/ethnicity as of Sept. 24. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

Local official updates:


L.A. County has made progress in moving out of Tier 1 status

The L.A. County is currently at a widespread status — or Tier 1 — within the state’s reopening guidelines, reporting 7.7 new cases per 100,000 people. The positivity rate has decreased to 2.8%. When the county sees less than seven new cases, the risk level can move to a substantial status — also known as Tier Two.

“If L.A. County maintains this low level, if we have our positivity rate where it is today, and we have no more than seven cases per 100,000 people for the next 14 days consecutively, we’ll be able to enter a new tier that allows for fewer restrictions,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a press conference.

Garcetti said he hopes to meet the new tier in early October.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills to protect essential workers

Newsom signed two bills into law on Sept. 17, both of which protect essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 1159 compensates illness or death related to COVID-19 as “injury” until Jan. 1, 2023. The law goes into effect immediately.

Assembly Bill 685 requires that public and private employers notify local public health agencies of COVID-19 outbreaks, as well as give notice to all employees.

Nail salons will not reopen in L.A. County

The state is allowing counties to determine whether or not nail salons may reopen. L.A. County has decided to hold off until more data is made available.

“As of today, the County of Los Angeles is keeping nail salons closed until there is more data to look at from the post- Labor Day times. I support that decision,” Garcetti said in a press conference.

L.A. County has yet to present data from Labor Day weekend.

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)
Hair salons – limited to 25% capacity
Barber shops – limited to 25% capacity
Gyms (outdoors with modifications)
Indoor shopping malls (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. Officials say gatherings should be limited to only people in your household.


The L.A. County website has a list of 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.