LOS ANGELES — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County topped 40,000 May 20, while results of the latest antibody testing showed a drop in the percentage of residents believed to have been infected at some point, an indication the virus’ spread is slowing.
Projected across the county’s 10 million residents, a 2.1% infection rate would equate to roughly 210,000 people — far greater than the county’s current number of confirmed cases, which just topped 40,000.
Neeraj Sood, a USC professor of public policy at the USC Price School for Public Policy and lead investigator on the antibody study, noted several changes in methodology between the two rounds of testing, most notably a greater outreach to Spanish- and Mandarin-speaking residents in the May survey, along with changes in testing sites that contributed to different demographics.
Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health, echoed that optimistic tone, while also acknowledging that methodology may have contributed to the drop in percentage of antibody-positive tests.
She noted that the latest testing, like the first round, found that men are more likely to be infected with the virus, as are people in lower-income neighborhoods and people under age 55.