LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County confirmed its first case of the South African COVID-19 variant Tuesday as well as the first three cases of the Brazilian variant.
During the county’s afternoon news conference, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said there are likely many more cases of the variants in the county but they are not reported due to the limited testing done for variants.
READ MORE: LAPD Facing Lawsuit After Officers Arrest Black Man During Search For White Suspect
“We still have moderate transmission, that’s why we are in the orange tier,” Ferrer said. “It would be lovely to get to the yellow tier, which really means you have minimal transmission going on in the community because your case rate has dropped to less than two new cases per 100,000 people.”
“So yes, I would like to see our case rate drop more,” she said. “We’ll have to continue to work really hard for that to happen.”
On Tuesday, the state released its updated COVID statistics, showing L.A. County’s average daily rate of new cases held steady at 3.1 per 100,000 residents, ending a weeks-long downward trend.
READ MORE: Rapid COVID-19 Tests Could Make School Re-Openings Safer, USC Study Finds
Based on the update, the county will remain in the orange tier of the state’s reopening blueprint as the case rate remained the same as last week, which health officials say shows that the county is not continuing to see a decline in cases.
Ferrer also reported an additional 53 deaths Tuesday and 479 new cases.
The numbers brought the county’s death toll to 23,340 and its caseload to 1,223,174.
MORE NEWS: Police Investigate Shooting Death In Claremont, 71-Year-Old Man In Custody
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)