As residents of Los Angeles continue to practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the city’s air quality is the best it’s been in decades.
According to an air quality index compiled by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air quality was “good” for the entire month of March, which hasn’t been the case since at least 1995.
In March 2017, the air quality in Los Angeles was deemed “unhealthy” and even “hazardous” in July 2019.
Cody Hill, an energy company executive based in the Bay Area of California, explained on Twitter that the improved quality of air is likely from “reduced driving with the same vehicle fleet.”
“It could be the new normal and ~13 million people living there would be healthier if we electrify transportation,” Hill added.
“Los Angeles, this is our moment to lead with love and protect those lives that mean everything to us,” he said during a press briefing. “This is not a request. This is an order.”
As of Tuesday, there are over 17,000 cases of coronavirus in California and 420 deaths, according to a New York Times database.
There are now at least 395,090 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, the most worldwide.
At least 12,786 people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illness.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.
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