Los Angeles County reported no deaths from COVID-19 Sunday, a stunning turnaround for California’s most populous district which has suffered 23,915 fatalities since the pandemic began.
It is the first time in 410 days that the county has not reported at least one COVID fatality.
But health officials warned that the landmark figure may be due to an undercount because of delays in reporting COVID figures on weekends, the The LA Times reports.
Health officials reported 313 new cases and 410 hospitalizations Sunday in the county, which, which comprises a large swathe of Los Angeles city’s metropolitan area and has a population of more than 10 million people.
California now has the lowest COVID rate of any state in the country after suffering alternating waves of death and lockdown over the past 12 months.
Less than four months ago, the County experienced its deadliest day when a record 290 died on January 8, according to official figures.
More than half of the population in LA County, have had at least one vaccination and just under a third are fully vaccinated.
LA County recorded its first COVID death on March 19 last year, when four people died.
From a peak of nearly 300 deaths per day in early January, LA County in California reported no COVID deaths on Sunday May 2
Disneyland has reopened to a 25% capacity – as guests return to the happiest place on earth for the first time in more than a year
Joggers on Venice Beach enjoy the warm California sunshine
A person skateboards along the Venice Beach boardwalk on April 28, 2021 in Venice, California. LA County reported no deaths from COVID for the first time since last March
The death rate quickly grew to more than 40 and hovered between 30 and 40 until late August.
The state was plunged into one of the nation’s strictest lockdowns, with residents only permitted to leave their homes for groceries and exercise.
California became the first state to issue a statewide stay-at-home order last spring and has endured the nation’s longest lockdown.
The state operated a complicated color-coded tier system that would determine restrictions county-by-county.
The restrictions were eased as the death rate reduced to around 15 per seven day rolling average in October.
But the virus stubbornly crept back up during a second wave in November.
Daily deaths reached more than 100 a day for the first time on December 11 and peaked at 290 deaths on January 9.
Some 6,411 people died in January alone.
The latest COVID-19 figures show case numbers are on a steady downward trend
The number of deaths remain stubbornly high in some parts of the country
On April 30, people enter Disneyland Park as it reopens for the first time since the COVID 19 pandemic forced the park to shut down last year. California saw some of the highest infection rates in the nation over the winter but now enjoys some of the lowest
Customers dine at Hank’s outdoor dining in front of the Bay Theatre by Cineapolis Luxury Cinemas in the Pacific Palisades
But as the vaccine rollout gathered pace, LA County flattened the curve.
Now, California boasts the country´s lowest rate of confirmed coronavirus infections and more than half of the population eligible for vaccination has received at least one dose.
Children have been returning to in-person classes, shops and restaurants are expanding business, and Gov. Gavin Newsom set June 15 as a target date to further reopen the economy, albeit with some health-related restrictions.
Disneyland in Los Angeles has reopened with a 25% capacity.
Visitors must wear masks and can remove them to eat only in designated areas. Hugs and handshakes with characters are off limits, and parades and fireworks shows have been shelved to limit crowding.
And the city’s famous beaches, such as Venice and Malibu, have been teeming with life in recent weeks.
While California continues to ‘strongly discourage’ anyone from visiting the state as tourists, the travel industry is banking on pent-up demand from its own nearly 40 million residents for a comeback.
An advertising campaign encourages Californians to travel within the state, mirroring a pitch made after 9/11.
Governor Gavin Newsom said last week the state was reviewing its mask mandate in light of new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control that allow vaccinated people to go maskless outside, unless they’re in a crowded area.
Across the US, the 14-day average for COVID deaths was 693 yesterday, according to the New York Times tracking data.
Some districts in Michigan, Utah, Oregon, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado and Washington state are reporting more than 50 cases per 100,000 people.