Los Angeles County sees lowest COVID-19 daily test positivity rate since pandemic began

Two people toast beer cans at a bar
Jasmine Aguilar and Adam Ziegenhals of Echo Park have drinks at the Ham and Eggs bar in Los Angeles.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday reported 527 new coronavirus cases and 29 related deaths, noting that the daily test positivity rate of 0.9% is the lowest since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

The daily positivity rate is defined as the percentage of all coronavirus tests reported that are positive, officials said. Not all individuals who have the virus get the test.

Though officials are encouraged by the steady decline in daily cases and transmission of the virus, as well as increased vaccinations, they caution residents to be vigilant against new variants of the virus by adhering to safety protocols such as wearing face masks and social distancing.


“As the weather gets warmer and we go out to enjoy all what our beautiful county has to offer, let’s keep up with the straightforward safety measures that have reduced transmission,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in a statement. “When we get vaccinated, wear face coverings, keep our distance, and implement safeguards at workplaces, our actions minimize transmission and prevent severe health outcomes.”

To date, health officials have confirmed 1,228,564 positive cases of COVID-19 across the county and a total of 23,626 deaths. Currently, there are 498 people with COVID-19 who are hospitalized, with 23% of those in intensive care, officials said.

Of the 29 new deaths reported Saturday, most were aged 50 or older, including eight people over the age of 80, 11 between 65 and 79 and eight between 50 and 64, officials said. One person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49, and another individual was between the ages of 18 and 29.

Meanwhile, Orange County’s Health Care Agency on Saturday reported 80 new COVID-19 cases and five related deaths, bringing the region’s total to 252,884 cases and 4,891 deaths since the pandemic began.

Saturday’s news comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that more than half of California adults, 52.2%, had received at least one shot.

The Golden State’s vaccination rate was ahead of the nation’s next three most populous states: Texas (45%), Florida (44.8%) and New York (51.3%). California is also beating the 48.3% national average for adults who are at least partially vaccinated.


The rate of partial vaccinations for all those 16 and older was about 50%, according to state figures released Friday. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds throughout the state were granted permission to seek vaccines earlier in the week.

Although Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties had already allowed members of that age group to register for vaccinations, Orange and Ventura County teens were able apply for the first time Wednesday through the state’s My Turn appointment system.