The California state health department on Tuesday reported a record number of new coronavirus cases. The new daily tally of 5,019 was a big jump from the previous record of 4,230, which was recorded on Monday. Hospitalizations, a confirmation that these are new infections vs. the result of increased testing, also rose to a record of 3,868 total.
Hospitalization totals broke records on both Saturday and Sunday, with 3,702 COVID-19 patients reported in hospital beds. The previous high before the weekend came nearly two months earlier on April 29. That was 3,497 new hospitalizations.
California was one of seven states that, on Tuesday, reported the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began, according to the Washington Post. The others included Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Hospitalized patient figures are increasing most rapidly in Southern California. But some counties in the Central Valley and Bay Area came within a handful of cases of their highest-ever total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well.
Generally, after an increase in cases is reported, experts look to see if there is then an increase in hospitalizations to confirm an outbreak — as opposed to just increased cases from increased testing. L.A. County’s weekly number of tests sits at 87,000. That’s an eight-week low, down from a high of 117,000 five weeks ago.
The Los Angeles County health department — the state’s largest– announced on Tuesday the fourth instance in a week that the region had seen over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases. That’s a daily mark not seen even at the height of the virus’s spread. The 24-hour total reported Tuesday was 2,364.
Even more worrisome was rise in hospitalizations and spread rate.
From the L.A. health department’s press release:
Public Health continues to assess key recovery indicators to understand how COVID-19 is affecting communities and capacity to treat people who may become seriously ill. Public Health is seeing small increases in hospitalizations and in the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate. There are 1,515 people who are currently hospitalized, 27% of these people are in the ICU and 18% are on ventilators. Although this number is significantly lower than peaks of over 1900 people hospitalized daily for COVID-19, this is higher than 1350 to 1450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. And while the cumulative positivity rate remains at 8%, the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased to 8.8%.
One day earlier, the department had pegged the 7-day positivity rate at 8.4 percent.
See Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announce a new COVID-19 testing initiative on Tuesday: