As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths fall in the U.S., the country’s most populous county hit a particularly encouraging milestone on Sunday.
Los Angeles County, which includes more than 10 million people — a larger population than 41 states — reported zero deaths from COVID, the Los Angeles Times reports. Though the number is likely to change as a result of slow weekend reporting, it is still an unambiguously hopeful sign for Southern California and the country at large.
The state of the virus in the county — the designation includes the city of Los Angeles as well as many surrounding cities, like Glendale and Long Beach — stands in stark contrast to the outbreak that hit the city earlier this year. COVID slammed into Los Angeles, particularly the poorer parts of the city, sweeping through multifamily homes and filling hospitals. The county reported 290 deaths on January 8, the worst day of the crisis. The Times reports that 23,915 people have died of COVID in Los Angeles County since the beginning of the pandemic, and 1.2 million cases have been confirmed. 46.8 percent of people in the county have now received at least one vaccine dose, and hospitalizations and case rates are dropping steeply along with deaths.
Overall, COVID deaths continue to fall in the U.S., albeit slowly. The country is averaging about 630 deaths a day, the lowest since last summer. And cases are declining as well, to an average of just over 49,000 per day — the best number since October.