For the second time in the past week, California on Monday removed its daily history of COVID-19 cases from the water, and virtually throughout the Pacific. Hospitals are starting to get close to capacity in parts of the state, while more regions have suspended plans to reopen amid what a local health official described as an “alarming” increase in cases.
Health departments across the state reported 8,184 new positive tests on Monday, breaking the previous record set last Monday and bringing the total count to more than 222,000, according to data compiled by this news organization. While Monday’s data may be inflated due to reporting delays over the weekend, and last weekend, some counties were unable to access CalREDIE, the state’s reporting system, the 8,184 new cases are 25 % higher than any previous Monday. Before last Monday, the state had not experienced a single day of 5,000 cases; now, she’s averaged over 5,000 a day, 5,475 over the past week. That’s 33% higher than a week ago, even though the number of tests increased 20% in that time.
In Los Angeles County alone, there were nearly 3,000 new cases, more than all but three states on Monday.
“The alarming increase in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations indicates that we, as a community, must take immediate steps to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, it’s a statement. statement. Otherwise, we are moving quickly to overwhelm our health system and see even more devastating disease and death. “
The positive test rate statewide in the last seven days is 5.9%. As recently as two weeks ago, an average of 4.6% of tests returned positive results, indicating that the increase in cases is attributable to more than an increase in tests. Cases
Both rates, however, pale in comparison to other states where cases are increasing. In Florida, 15.6% of the tests yielded positive results, while in Arizona, the positivity rate was 24.4%. California is also evaluating more people than all but five states at a rate of 2.4 tests per 1,000 residents. Seventeen states have a higher positivity rate than California.
Although the positive test rate, total cases, and hospitalizations continue to rise, the state has yet to experience an increase in deaths. There were 44 more deaths reported Monday, bringing the death toll to 5,977. The average of 59 deaths per day over the past week is 25% lower than its peak in late April.
But some counties are beginning to hit a critical mass of hospitalizations.
In Riverside County, intensive care units were 99% full, prompting Representative Raúl Ruiz, who represents District 36 of the United States House of Representatives, to ask local officials to reinstate orders for public health.
“I ask the County to immediately revoke its decision to terminate public health safety measures and reinstate its order to wear masks in public and transparently communicate its social distancing and remain on emergency intervention plans and enforcement mechanisms.” Ruiz said in a statement. .
Imperial County, on the Mexican border, remains the biggest cause for concern for state health officials. It has 26 total beds in the ICU, and 16 are currently being used by patients with coronavirus.
The infection rate in the largely rural agricultural county is three times higher than in any other county except one in the state: 3,200 per 100,000 residents, compared to 982 per 100,000 in Los Angeles County and 554 per 100,000 statewide. Each county in the Bay Area falls below the state rate, led by Marin County with 458 cases per 100,000 residents.
At the state level, there is still a lot of hospital and ICU capacity. COVID-19 patients occupied 13% of all ICU beds in the state, Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday, and more than 3,700 of the nearly 11,000 in the state are currently unemployed. Certain areas, such as San Francisco, have begun to accept transfers of patients from hospitals in other counties with less capacity.
Even though hospitalizations skyrocketed in the Bay Area last week, there are hardly any number of patients in their hospitals compared to Southern California counties, and now some in the Central Valley have even outperformed the Bay. There are 45% more patients hospitalized in the 10 Bay Area counties than a week ago, but the total number – 359 confirmed cases – is less than Los Angeles (1,783), Orange (485), San Bernardino (376) , San Diego (373) or Riverside (367) counties individually. Total hospitalizations statewide increased 29% in the past week to 4,683, the highest number since the outbreak began.
Including transfers, hospitalizations in San Francisco rose to 61 on Saturday, the most since May 23, but that’s a fraction of the 1,248 ICU and acute care beds that remain open. San Mateo County hospitals are using six of its 255 available surge beds and six of its 204 ventilators. More than half of their ICU beds remain open, and of those in use, COVID patients are outnumbered nearly 4: 1.
Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Solano counties ranked three of the 19 places on the state’s “watch list,” counties that Newsom and state health officials are closely monitoring. In Santa Clara County, there were 78 patients hospitalized, most since the outbreak began, but still only 3% of the county’s total hospital capacity. Contra Costa County reported 169 new cases, the majority still, while Santa Clara added another 103. Cases in Solano and Contra Costa counties increased 30% in one week, while Santa Clara County increased 20%. .
While Newsom had not ordered Contra Costa to stop the reopening as it did for seven other counties this weekend, the county did not wait for the news from Sacramento: It said that bars and other businesses will no longer reopen on July 1. . Alameda County, where cases rose 15% in the past week, also said it would archive plans for indoor restaurants and lounges to reopen this week.