According to the county Department of Health Services, that rate was 0.95 a week ago and 1.02 as of Wednesday. Anytime the rate is above 1, virus cases are anticipated to increase, followed by rises in hospitalizations and potentially deaths.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said the state has experienced an overall increase in case numbers, test positivity rates and hospitalizations over the past few weeks, which is important to keep in mind as more people move indoors with the weather getting cooler and families gathering for the holidays.
Los Angeles County remains mired in the most restrictive tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan thanks to an uptick in cases, with the county today reporting the highest daily number of new COVID- 19 infections in more than two months.
The county reported 1,843 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths Wednesday. The new case number was the highest figure not associated with a testing backlog that the county has reported since late August, according to the county Department of Public Health. It continues a steady rise in daily cases that began in early October.
And with increased cases come increased hospitalizations. According to the county, there were 817 people hospitalized in the county due to the virus as of Wednesday, with 29% of those people in intensive care. It was the first time the daily number of hospitalized patients has exceeded 800 since September, although the count is still down from the peak of more than 2,200 daily hospitalizations in July.
The new cases reported by the county increased the overall county total to 313,632. The 22 additional deaths lifted the countywide death toll from the virus to 7,118.
The county needs to lower its daily case numbers to about 700 per day to have a chance of moving out of the most restrictive “Purple” tier of California’s four-step coronavirus monitoring system.
Currently, the county’s adjusted case rate is 7.5 new cases per 100,000 people, a drop from last week’s 8, but not enough to meet the state’s requirements of 7 or fewer cases per 100,000 for two consecutive weeks to move into a less restrictive tier.
There are also bigger spikes in other states and countries.
“This new wave of cases that we are seeing across the nation is not something that we are yet facing here in California. A lot of credit is to be given to each of you as individuals who are making decisions on a daily basis to lower their risk and choose different things that you might forego or do in a modified way,” Ghaly said.
Los Angeles County public health officials are encouraging residents to stay vigilant about doing their part to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
“With our cases increasing, we are concerned about holiday gatherings and cooler weather where people are more likely to gather indoors. These are perfect conditions for spreading COVID-19,” the Los Angeles County Health Department tweeted.