California’s early response to COVID-19 outbreak credited for flattening the curve

The State of California implemented social distancing guidelines earlier than many other states and that may have been the trick into flattening the curve and fighting COVID-19. 

Secretary of California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly says recent data in California shows movement is going down across the state and county by county. 

He says flattening the curve early is due to people practicing social distancing and more and more people are staying at home. 

“The comparison is to when we didn’t really have the stay at home order, we didn’t empathize physical distancing and people were moving around their day as they normally did,” Dr. Ghaly stated during the state’s daily press briefing. 


During Friday’s press conference Dr. Ghaly showed graphs which exhibit the decrease across the state as well as in certain counties. 

He says to date people are moving less and staying home more now than compared to this time in February. 

Los Angeles County, the state’s biggest county, is seeing a significant downward trend. 

“These are the trends we want to continue to see across the state that reinforce what we’ve been doing, and how we think about the next couple of slides and what we are experiencing in our hospitals today,” Dr. Ghaly added. 

According to Dr. Ghaly some models seen across the nation suggest California and other states might have a peak in month of May—but due to current trends he says that peak might not end up being as high as it was expected. 

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And what we are seeing now in our hospitals might not be that different to what is expected in May. Los Angeles County has extended its Stay at Home order until May 15. 

“If we continue doing the wonderful things Californians have banded together to do, that we may continue on this trend and avoid a higher slope line that we have been planning around,” Dr. Ghaldy stated. 

State and local health officials recommend people keep a 6 feet distance away from others and wear face coverings while out in public. 

They say flattening the curve is due to the result of social distancing. 

“Physical distancing is working, together with the infection control interventions like hand washing and wearing masks, these are the biggest weapons that we have in our arsenal to fight COVID-19. And the efforts are working, they have flattened the curve, they have reduced the peak, they have pushed that peak out into the future, and they have made it so the hospital system is projected to be able to manage the number of patients that will become ill with COVID-19. By doing this very simply you have saved lives,” Health Services Director for LA County Christina Ghaly said. 

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