Moments after California Governor Gavin Newsom reported a shockingly large record number of daily coronavirus cases in the state, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reported 2,496 new cases of COVID-19, just shy of the all-time record, which topped 2,500 on June 22.
The day before, on Tuesday, the number of daily new cases was 4,015. That data included a backlog of tests, so it’s hard to call it a record. But the daily average is “now 2,400 a day,” according to Ferrer. Those numbers indicate that the number of daily new cases may remain at the near-record level for some time.
For perspective, less than a month ago the county Department of Public Health reported it had measured 1,857 new confirmed coronavirus cases on June 13. That number represented a single-day record at that time. The daily average of new cases is now roughly 30 percent higher than what was a record single-day number at the time.
“We’re entering a phase where we’re seeing a rate of infection and hospitalizations like we did in late April,” said Ferrer, referencing the height of community spread in L.A. “We’re even seeing a small increase in new deaths, which is usually a lagging indicator.”
“We are seeing a sharp increase in community transmission,” warned Ferrer.
The daily positivity rate — a composite of a 7-day rolling average — is now 10.4 percent, according to the county health department. That’s a rate that Los Angeles County hasn’t seen since late-April.
There are now more than 2,000 people currently hospitalized, according to public health department. Twenty six percent of those people are confirmed cases in the ICU.
The 3-day average of hospitalizations is now at over 1900 patients. According to Ferrer, that is “more than any other time in the pandemic.” That number is rising daily by 10.4 percent, according to the 7-day average
Ferrer reported a relatively-high number 65 new deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, for a total of 3,642 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began.
Minutes before the health officials’ briefing, Newsom then announced a record number of new coronavirus cases in the state. Over the previous 24 hours, California saw 11,694 new cases, which which includes a backlog of cases from Los Angeles County.
Testing backlogs have spiked the state’s daily new case numbers before, but the Wednesday number so far exceeds the state’s previous all-time high of 7,149 reported on June 24, that it cannot be ignored.