On Monday, Californian health officials announced that the number of new COVID-19 cases fell dramatically in the past week, falling by 27.6%.
According to data compiled by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in the past week ending on February 14th, only 67,859 new positive test cases were reported, compared to 93,718 recorded in the previous week. The number of deaths has also gone drastically down from over 400 a day being recorded late last year to only around 200 a day this month. Overall positivity rates also fell significantly from earlier this month, from 5.4% to 3.7% being recorded last week.
Case numbers fell in 47 of the 58 California counties, including large declines being recorded in previously hard hit Southern Californian Counties such as Los Angeles County and San Diego County.
Monday’s new figures are expected to factor in to many counties reopening into a less severe COVID-19 tier in the coming weeks, as lower positivity rates and fewer numbers of new cases can lead to more openings in certain counties.
However, experts are warning that certain activities and businesses may take more time to fully reopen.
“Right now it’s tier-based to a certain extent,” Damon Lewis, a health consultant who has been advising reopening businesses, explained to the Globe. “For example, schools have been very finicky and keep asking when sports can fully resume, as the clock on many sports starting in time to play for a meaningful amount of time is waning. Everyone seems to want to bring sports back, but it’s being treated as more of a state rather than county matter. [Governor Gavin] Newsom has been accused of dragging his feet on reopening, even though colleges and the pros are playing. Same with the schools themselves. The government has been pushing for reopening, as have parents, but teachers unions have been acting like cowards, even though the risk of outbreaks are low.
“It will probably be until the end of the month to see any big change. If the past weekend of lunar new year and Valentine’s Day don’t result in any surges, we can be looking at a much friendlier reopening timetable.
“The new stats are great, and vaccines are coming, but we can’t be complacent just yet.”
As of Monday, California now ranks 25th in the nation in terms of COVID-19 virus spread, with the U.S. reporting a 22.9% positive case drop in the last week. Further drops overall in California and the United States are expected this coming week.