California has seen a 69% increase in coronavirus cases in just two days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, as the state continues to fight a surge in new infections and hospitalizations.
The state has seen an alarming jump in cases as communities reopen closure restrictions. Los Angeles County now leads the nation with more than 88,500 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The numbers have soared in recent days, going from 4,230 on Sunday to 7,149 on Tuesday, according to public health data. A record number of hospitalizations due to the virus were also recorded over the weekend. The state is currently at 30% of its ICU capacity.
The news comes amid an increase in cases across the country, with the United States registering a one-day total of 34,700 new Covid-19 cases, the highest level since late April.
Last week, Newsom announced that Californians must wear masks in most public settings to slow the spread of the virus, and said Wednesday it would withhold pandemic-related funds from local governments that ignore the requirements on masks and other antivirus measures. Some parts of the state have resisted the new mask directive.
Newsom, whose press meetings on the state’s response to the coronavirus have become routine, said the state has conducted more than a million tests in the past two weeks with a positivity rate of 5.1%.
Californians should expect more positive results as testing increases, he said.
Amid the growing number, some have begun to direct their anger toward public health officials. This week, the Los Angeles County director of public health said someone casually suggested that he be shot during a Covid-19 briefing he was hosting on Facebook live.
The Centers for Disease Control warned that the death toll in the nation could rise from 121,746 to 150,000 by July 18. New cases in the US USA They now represent 20% of new cases in the world.
Record highs have been recorded in Arizona, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. North Carolina and South Carolina established hospitalization records.
Texas, which began lifting the locks on May 1, has seen hospitalizations double and new cases triple in two weeks.
“People became complacent,” said Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of the Houston Methodist Hospital System, where the number of patients tripled in the past month. “And he’s coming back and biting us, frankly.”
Public health experts generally hesitate to attribute outbreaks to specific causes. In recent weeks, thousands of protesters have attended massive rallies to protest against racist police. The warm weather has taken people out of their homes, onto beaches and in parks. Regions have moved to reopen economies at an uneven pace, complicating a uniform approach to public health precautions.
“Californians must remain vigilant and act responsibly,” the California governor said in a series of tweets Wednesday. “# Covid19 is not gone. Do your part to stop the spread. Wear a mask. “
Agencies contributed reports