The uptick in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles and several other California counties is cause for concern, but experts said Thursday that it’s too early to say whether it represents the start of a larger surge in infections.

The next few weeks will be crucial in seeing whether California can keep case numbers and hospitalizations down even as officials continue to reopen the economy. The state is hoping its new tier system will avoid the surge in cases that came this summer when the state rapidly allowed businesses to reopen and people returned to old habits.

“I think there’s probably bound to be a few more upticks when counties reopen because of the fact that you’re now going to be in situations where there is more opportunity for exposures,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a medical epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Los Angeles County on Wednesday reported its highest daily case count in six weeks. Riverside County is on the brink of regression from Tier 2 to Tier 1 after its daily case count increased, and in San Diego, which also remains in Tier 2, hospitalizations have increased over the last two weeks after a surge in cases linked largely to San Diego State.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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