Aug. 11 (UPI) -- For the second day in a row, the United States has reported a daily count of fewer than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases.
According to figures Tuesday from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, there were about 49,500 cases nationally on Monday. Sunday's figure was about 47,000.
The two-day streak under 50,000 is the first in a week and just the second since early July.
The updated figures from Johns Hopkins showed 5.094 million cases and 163,400 deaths in the United States since the start of the pandemic. There were about 500 new deaths Monday.
"[I] understand there's a lot of angst out there, there's a lot of fear," he said. "It does us no good to tell a parent, 'You go ahead and send your kid if you're not comfortable with it.'"
In Louisiana, Jefferson Parish decided to delay the start of fall classes for two weeks. Students were scheduled to begin Wednesday. Jefferson Parish is part of the New Orleans metropolitan area and its school district is the largest in the state.
Superintendent James Gray said the decision was made due to "concerns expressed by teachers" and anticipated availability of rapid coronavirus tests after Aug. 26.
In California, Los Angeles County's top health official said she's "cautiously optimistic" the spread is slowing due to improved prevention efforts.
L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said key indicators show "signs of stability." The county has seen an average of 37 deaths per day for the last two weeks.
Earlier, however, California's top health official resigned after it became known that a computer glitch was responsible for underreporting case numbers.
"Although our data is showing signs of stability, everyone knows we do have a delay in getting accurate reporting from our labs," Ferrer told reporters.