The negative COVID-19 test does not make the holiday gathering safe: LA top doc

The director of public health in Los Angeles County warned residents on Tuesday that they should not use a negative COVID-19 test to justify attending meetings during the Christmas holiday.

“Until you get a negative test result, you may no longer be negative,” Barbara Ferrer told the Los Angeles Times. “And even if you have no symptoms, you can easily infect others.”


Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s director of health services, told the newspaper that the strategy was “very dangerous” and said that this approach was “a big part of what led us to the situation we are in today.”

California has an average of nearly 44,000 newly confirmed cases a day and has recorded 525,000 in the past two weeks. It is estimated that 12% of those who test positive end up in hospital.

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That means 63,000 hospitalizations in the last 14 days of cases. The current figure is 17,190.

Ghaly said he feared that entire areas of the state could be left without space even in their makeshift units of “growth” capacity “until the end of the month and the beginning of January”.

The Associated Press contributed to this report