After a third consecutive day of new cases that exceed anything seen before this week, California is now home to the nation’s top coronavirus spot, at least in total.
Los Angeles County, with a population of 10 million, reported another 1,228 positive tests on Wednesday, beating Cook County, Illinois, in most of the nation, according to Johns Hopkins University. The 89,490 confirmed cases in Los Angeles County represent nearly half of California’s 195,424 total cases, which increased on Wednesday by 4,648, according to data collected by this news organization, less than the more than 6,500 cases in the last two days, but the third of the state. more daily cases since the outbreak began.
So to recap where California is more than three months into the coronavirus pandemic: hospitalizations and new daily cases are at their highest levels, the test positivity rate is rising rapidly, and the state is now home. county with the most cases in the country with the most cases in the world.
“I want to remind people that we are still in the first wave of this pandemic,” Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, urging Californians to comply with the state order for masks. “I want to remind everyone of the power and power of their decision making.”
The positive testing rate increased from a seven-day average below 5% three days ago to 5.6% as of Wednesday. Before Tuesday, it had not risen above 5% since June 2.
“I warn you that every decimal point is deeply shocking,” Newsom said.
Newsom also noted a “troubling” increase in cases in the Bay Area. The region set its own daily record with more than 700 new cases among its 10 counties on Monday, and has approached that mark in the next two days, with 508 other positive tests recently reported on Wednesday. Alameda County continued to lead the region with 133 more positive tests reported Wednesday, followed by 105 in Santa Clara, 69 in Contra Costa and 60 in San Mateo.
Contra Costa County also reported five new deaths Wednesday after adding six to its death toll earlier this week. No Bay Area county has reported more deaths from the virus since early June. Overall, 83 other Californians perished from the virus, higher than the seven-day average (63) but at the rate of the previous Wednesday.
The Bay Area has yet to experience the increase in hospitalized patients, which until now has been largely driven by Southern California counties. However, the region saw its biggest single-day gain, 15%, on Tuesday, than at any other time since authorities began tracking the hospital’s data in late March. The 304 patients hospitalized Tuesday were the most in Bay Area hospitals since May 6.
Statewide, hospitalizations have increased 20% in the past week, with 4,095 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds as of Tuesday, the most recent day for which data was available.
While the increase in hospitalizations is an indicator that may indicate a worse future (infections are before positive tests, which are prior to hospitalizations), the state is far from exhausting the full capacity of its health care infrastructure. .
“For the past few months we have been preparing,” Newsom said Wednesday. “We have not been sitting on our hands. We have not been proclaiming ourselves victims of fate. “
Currently, the state is using about 8% of its surge beds in patients with COVID-19. That doesn’t include the more than 70,000 normal hospital beds or the 1,500 alternative care units.
The number of patients in intensive care units is also increasing, although it is slower than total hospitalizations, and currently about a quarter (1,268) of the ICU beds available in the state are being used to treat patients with COVID-19.