California Governor Gavin Newsom reported 5,349 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. That’s down from the all time high of 7,149 just the day before, but the governor was not enthusiastic about the drop, saying the number is “still higher than it should be.”
Newsom continued by warning that “We’ve seen 56,000 new cases just in the past 14 days.” That’s over a quarter of the total 195,000 cases identified so far. Some of that can be attributed to increased testing, said Newsom. But not all of it.
The positivity rate of tests each day has been rising, up 5.1 percent over the past 14 days. The World Health Organization recommends regions open up only after the positivity rate falls below 5 percent. In the past seven days, said the governor, that rate is clocking in at 5.6 percent.
Yesterday Newsom revealed a 29 percent increase in total hospitalizations over the past 14 days. Today that number rose to 32 percent.
Total hospital space being used remains at 8 percent as a result of new beds being brought online, according to Newsom.
When asked by one reporter about the fact that L.A. County is over the number of maximum number of cases for reopening, Newsom said it is a situation “we are monitoring very closely.” He said that counties were being held to the attestations that they have made in order to reopen. “When people are out of compliance [with those promises] they go on this guidance system,” said the governor, noting that state officials are engaged daily with Los Angeles County officials.
ICU numbers are increasing over the past 14 days, also. “Roughly 34 percent of the available ICU beds in our hospital system are being used,” said the governor. That’s up from 31 percent just 24 hours before.
Referencing the ICU numbers, Newsom said they are key to the decision about whether to retighten restrictions or continue reopening. “When our system cannot absorb, when there’s a capacity or limitation,” said the governor, “that’s when we put out alarm bells. When we see resource depletion, resource restraints, that’s when we get concerned.”
Newsom announced the launch of a new aggregated reporting and forecasting site, the California COVID Testing Tool, which he called the “model of models.” The idea is to help Californians to understand the data and see what the trends are. Newsom said this is the same information that health directors are using to guide their decisions. That site can be found here.
Newsom said that a dashboard also will be released each morning.
While speaking about forecasts and data, Newsom went out of his way to praise Disney for not reopening its Orange County Park. “I want to compliment Disney and their team for making that determination.”
He indicated that Disney’s decision may have come as a result of state guidance, or lack thereof. “They noted that the state had ceased offering guidelines in those categories. That is an example of the data informing decision making.”
Newsom on Wednesday reported the state had seen another record number of newly-diagnosed COVID-19 cases, 7,149 new infections. That’s a jump of 2,000 infections in just 24 hours.
“We cannot continue to do what we have done over the past weeks,” said Newsom. He said some people got cabin fever, “some people just let down their guard.”
“I’m not naive,” said Newsom. “People are mixing. We are spreading this virus. It is our behaviors that are leading to these numbers.”
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