California Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that the state had recorded nearly 11,000 new cases of Covid over the past 24 hours. That marks a 100% increase from the daily number of 5,400 new cases recorded just one week ago.
The actual count, according to the state’s Covid data dashboard, was 10,903.
Newsom also announced the state’s test positivity rate had risen 43% in the past week, from 2.3% to 3.3% today.
The governor also previewed data on the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant due to be released tomorrow.
He said that “50% of all of the sequenced genomes [now] identify themselves as Omicron” in the state. That number was announced to be 73% nationwide earlier this week, just three weeks after its discovery here. Newsom said of the actual percentage in the state, “We know it’s well north of that.”
While the state genomically tests individual Covid-positive samples, Newsom said that much of the state’s surveillance is happening through testing wastewater.
While hospitalizations have been steadily rising, he reminded that the 3900 Covid patients currently hospitalized is a far cry from the 22,000 the state saw on January 6, though hospitalizations generally lag surges in cases and there are still two weeks to go before January 6, 2022.
The governor yesterday said the state would require all healthcare workers to have a booster shot by February 1. Asked if he was considering expanding that mandate to other professions, such as teachers.
“No, at this moment, but as you know we game a lot of things out. We have projections as it relates to this variant,” he said. “Hopefully we won’t have to consider that if all of our interventions are successful.”
Speaking of which, the governor also announced that the state would be expanding the hours of state testing sites as well as sending out 6 million — mostly antigen — tests to be used by school-age children before they return from winter break.
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