COVID-19 transmission rates across California are declining, indicating less spread of the virus

While COVID-19 numbers fueled by the omicron variant in Los Angeles County are still discouraging, statewide numbers are providing some hope as it appears they are on the decline.

The California Department of Public Health's COVID Assessment Tool estimates that the state's transmission rate has dropped below 1.0. As of Thursday, the transmission rate was 0.77, which indicates each person with COVID in the state is spreading the virus to less than one person on average.

Southern California, one of the five state-defined regions in the tool, has an estimated effective transmission rate of 0.75. The San Joaquin Valley region, however, is estimated at 0.99.

Meanwhile, the state's case rate is also falling. Thursday number's show California averaging 104,000 cases a day. That's a 13% decrease from the previous week. The seven-day positivity rate also dropped.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says the county isn't quite on the downslope, but she's hopeful the area is plateauing. A clearer idea of transmission and case numbers should form after data from the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend becomes available.

This comes as a new California bill was introduced that would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents' consent, the youngest age of any state.

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Los Angeles County on Thursday reported 102 new COVID-19 deaths, the highest daily number since March 2021, officials said.

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