On Friday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Department reported across-the-board increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the positivity rate for testing.
The 7-day average of daily new cases is now 1,979; an increase from the 1,379 average two weeks ago.
There are 1,676 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19. This is higher than 1350 to 1450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. Testing results are available for over 1,020,000 individuals with 9 percent of people testing positive.
The cumulative positivity rate has increased from 8 percent to 9 percent, while the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased to 8.8%. That’s well outside one key state guideline for reopening, which requires that the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate must be less than 8 percent.
What’s more, county officials had put the positivity rate at 8 or 8.3 percent earlier this week, so 9 percent now would indicate a steep climb in just a few days.
Another California guideline for reopening says that the 7-day average of daily percent rise in the total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized must be less than a 5 percent. While the exact timing of the numbers are a little vague, the 1,676 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 would seem to be much more than 5 percent higher than the seven day average, which L.A. County Health puts at 1350 to 1450 coronavirus patients.
Statewide, the positivity rate of tests have also been rising. As of Thursday, the positivity rate was up to 5.1 percent over the past 14 days. On Thursday, said the governor, that rate clocked in at 5.6 percent. On Friday, the rate rose to 5.7 percent.
Infections among those between 18 and 40 are rising more rapidly. The Los Angeles County Health Department indicated on Friday and new cases among that cohort had increased 44 percent in the past 16 days.
On Thursday, 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 L.A. County as of Wednesday. That institution’s numbers frequently outpace other sources, but the Centers for Disease Control came in just slightly lower at 89,490 total infections. That would still place the county at the top of John Hopkins’s ignominious list.
This comes on the same day that California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that, after weeks of engagement with the state’s hardest-hit county, he was asking officials in Imperial County, near San Diego, to increase COVID-preventative restrictions.
Imperial County’s average test positivity rate over the past 14 days is approaching 23 percent. As a result, they “need to decompress their hospital system,” said Newsom.
Newsom indicated that he did not presently intend to “toggle back” any other areas of the state, but he did reserve the right to do so in the future.
There are 13 other counties on the state’s “watch list,” according to the governor. Those counties are Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Tulare.