California now has 413,576 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That tops the 408,886 seen in New York State as of Wednesday.
Of course, California is the most populous state in the U.S., with about twice as many residents as New York State, so those totals should be taken in the context of the states’ total populations. But it is telling given that New York was previously the epicenter of the virus in the nation and, at one point, the world.
According to a calculation by the Sacramento Bee, that means about 1 in 96 state residents have or have had the virus.
California’s hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased on Wednesday by 79 to a total of 7,170. That means the number of hospitalizations has more than doubled in the state in just under six weeks. The number of virus-related ICU patients in the state rose by 52 to 2,058 total.
In Los Angeles, the state’s largest county, there were a near-record 2,207 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Wednesday. That’s just 25 patients below the all-time high of 2,232, which was recorded on Monday. The number of ICU beds there was hovering between 120 and 160.
Newsom said 35 counties in the state — up from 33 — are now on the state’s watchlist. That represents the vast majority of the state’s population.
The 7 day positivity rate of tests in California is 7.6 percent, about where it was last week.
The pandemic has resulted in 7,870 deaths in the state. That’s up 1.5 percent. The number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results in California reached a total of 6,664,419, an increase of 127,487 tests in the previous 24 hours.
Despite the process’s crucial role in slowing infections, California has too many COVID-19 cases for authorities to investigate and trace each new infection, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday.
“At the level of transmission we’re seeing across the state, even a very, very robust contact tracing team in every single county will have a hard time reaching out to every case,” Ghaly said. “No one has anticipated building a program to contact trace the level of cases we’re seeing here.”
This came on the heels of Newsom relaxing some reopening guidelines on Monday.
The Governor said at his Monday press conference that the state was adjusting some of the workplace closure guidelines it issued last week, specifically those around hair salons and barbershops and the “personal care services industry.” The governor said he had wanted to make the changes earlier, but that it “turned out that was more challenging than it may have appeared.”
“The good news is,” said Newsom, “we now have new guidelines out on the COVID-19.ca.gov website clarifying what we can and can’t do as it relates to hair cuts and activities that we want to move from indoors to outdoors for personal care services industry,” said Newsom.
On Wednesday, after the grim new COVID-19 numbers, Newsom announced a “bridge contract” for more masks from a Chinese company that would bring millions more masks to the state. There have been questions about the deal with the mask company, BYD. Newsom said the state is looking at getting competitive bigs from California-based manufacturers. Newsom said the state has had conversations with Honeywell to create a California-based mask facility.
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