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Los Angeles County coronavirus cases and deaths continue to drop as reopening approaches

Days before California officially reopens, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to drop.

The Los Angeles Department of Public Health confirmed 196 new cases and four deaths on Saturday; two of the dead were over 65 and two over 80. To date, more than 1.2 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county, and more than 24,000 have died.

Currently, 236 people are hospitalized for COVID-19, including 18% in intensive care.

County health officials have said testing will become an important tool in preventing outbreaks after reopening, and have recommended testing for anyone with symptoms – regardless of vaccination status or recent infection. The test is also recommended for unvaccinated people in close contact with someone potentially exposed to COVID-19 or who spends time indoors around many unmasked people, regardless of symptoms.

“Transmission in LA County is low, but those infected, unfortunately, are people who are not vaccinated,” said Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer. “If you are not yet vaccinated, you do not have the same protection as people who have been vaccinated, so you will have to be very careful with your mask on when you are indoors and when you are in a crowded situation outside. outside. As the county reopens on June 15, masking will continue to be the best protection unvaccinated people have. “

Anyone 12 years of age or older in LA County is eligible for the vaccination. Many sites do not require an appointment and are open on weekends and evenings.

Starting Tuesday, the state will remove most remaining restrictions on businesses and significantly relax mask-wearing rules for those vaccinated.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will also begin to reverse dozens of emergency actions he ordered by executive order in response to the pandemic. Most will be canceled on June 30, including a license waiver for California manufacturers producing goods critical to the pandemic response. Others, such as the exemption allowing government meetings to be held online, will remain in place until September 30.

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