After a week of record numbers and a curious drop in cases yesterday, Johns Hopkins University indicated that Los Angeles now has the highest number of coronavirus cases of any county in the nation.
Johns Hopkins reported 89,633 total cases in Los Angeles County as of Wednesday. The numbers at that institution often outperform other sources, but the Centers for Disease Control was slightly lower, with 89,490 total infections. That would still put the county at the top of John Hopkins’ ignominious list.
Of course, if you add up the five boroughs that make up New York City, that number, according to Johns Hopkins, is 213,699.
Either way you want to analyze the data, it is clear that as New York reopens with an infection rate of less than 1 percent, the most populous county in the United States is headed in the opposite direction. The LA infection rate is 8 percent.
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On Monday, the county experienced a record high of more than 2,500 new cases. Tuesday was another close record, with 2,364 new cases.
The numbers fell precipitously in the county on Wednesday, with 1,260 new cases reported. But on Thursday, the number of daily new cases increased again to 2,012.
So what does it matter? Often when case numbers increase, experts point to a parallel increase in evidence as the culprit. Rough calculations show the number of daily tests in the county to saw between a minimum of 11,000 and a maximum of 29,000. But the peaks in the tests do not correspond to the peaks in the new cases.
When it comes to testing, many people have complained about the lack of evidence in the county in recent times.
When asked about the availability of the tests last week, officials said last week that appointments had started to be assigned differently between those with symptoms and those without. On Wednesday, faced with the same questions, Mayor Garcetti said yesterday that some of the problems stem from a change in the location of the tests, with the emphasis placed on the attention of clinics and personal doctors rather than city and county testing sites.
The city’s COVID-19 site says: “Priority for same day or next day testing is still given to people experiencing symptoms and certain critical front-line workers who interact with the public. Testing is by appointment only.
The mayor also described the city’s test sites as “to the max” and promised to add more as soon as possible.
At the same time, the County Health Department’s daily press release stopped providing a running total of “available test results” and switched to simply the available testing capacity, making it impossible to determine how many tests have been delivered each day. .
Meanwhile, case numbers in the state have skyrocketed. California Governor Gavin Newsom reported 5,349 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday. That is below the all-time high of 7,149 the day before, but the governor was not enthusiastic about the drop, saying the number is “even higher than it should be.”
Newsom went on to warn that “We have seen 56,000 new cases in the past 14 days.” That is more than a quarter of the total of 195,000 cases identified in the region so far. Some of those numbers can be attributed to increased testing, Newsom said. But not all.
The positivity rate of tests every day has increased, 5.1 percent in the last 14 days. In the past seven days, the governor said, that rate is hitting 5.6 percent statewide.
Total hospitalizations in the state broke records on Saturday and Sunday, with 3,702 COVID-19 patients reported in hospital beds. The peak before last weekend came almost two months earlier, on April 29. That was 3,497 new hospitalizations.
Yesterday Newsom revealed a 29 percent increase in total hospitalizations in the past 14 days. Today that number increased to 32 percent.
California was one of the seven states that reported the highest number of hospitalizations on Tuesday since the pandemic began, according to the Washington Post. The others included Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.