LA County study suggests coronavirus infection rate is up to 55 times higher than official count: report
Medical workers at a Kaiser Permanente French Campus test a patient for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at a drive-thru testing facility in San Francisco on March 12

Los Angeles County released a new study on Monday that suggests COVID-19 coronavirus has spread far further in southern California than the official count.

The study, conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

"Based on results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the county's adult population has antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county's adult population has antibody to the virus- which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have had the infection. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county by the time of the study in early April," the county said in a press release announcing the results.

Neeraj Sood, a USC professor of public policy at USC Price School for Public Policy and senior fellow at USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, was the lead investigator.

"We haven't known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited," Sood said in a statement. "The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies."

A similar study by Stanford University in Santa Clara County also suggested that coronavirus had spread further than thought in northern California.