The Los Angeles County health department 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.
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From the 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%.
@lapublichealth Announces 34 New Deaths Related to#COVID19 and 2,364 New Cases of Confirmed COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. 88,262 positive cases across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,171 deaths. View https://t.co/ytWAj7D6rw for more. pic.twitter.com/o9vrg8ZgVJ
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) June 23, 2020
One day earlier, the department had pegged the 7-day positivity rate at 8.4 percent.
Statewide, 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.
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 L.A. County COVID-19 fact page says, “If we do see growth in the number of new patients requiring hospitalization in the weeks ahead…transmission is increasing in our communities and we need to take new measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Fact: The most important #COVID19 metric is the number of new patients requiring hospitalization. Why? Because new hospitalizations = increased spread.
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) June 23, 2020
According to the Associated Press via the Sacramento Bee, National Park officials reversed course on reopening Yosemite on Tuesday over virus fears. Park officials had begun reopening some Yosemite campgrounds earlier after they were closed for more than two-and-a-half months because of the pandemic.
But AP now reports that reservations with arrival dates between now and July 31 have been canceled.
PREVIOUSLY, MONDAY AFTERNOON L.A. County health officials said on Monday that the region saw a record 2,571 new cases of coronavirus — which is more than 20% higher the previous daily mark set last week.
“Today marks the third day in a week that we have reported 2,000 or more cases of COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health on Monday. “And while some of the increases are due to test reporting issues, it is clear that much of the increase represents more community transmission.”
Also on Monday the county announced that the current daily rate of positivity, which is a 7-day average of the daily positivity rate, had risen to 8.4 percent. “For comparison,” said a county tweet, “our 7-day average of the daily positivity rate was 5.8% on June 12th, just 10 days ago.”
While the cumulative positivity rate remains constant at 8%, our current daily rate of positivity, which is a 7-day average of the daily positivity rate, is 8.4%, and this is also an increase over the positivity rate we saw the last few weeks.
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) June 22, 2020
That came as the state as whole saw its own record high with 4,515 new lab-positive cases of COVID-19 reported on Saturday. In a Monday morning update with numbers accurate through Sunday, California reported more than 4,200 new cases in a day.
The state has surpassed an official infection toll of 170,000.
On Tuesday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci told Congressional Representatives in the House that, “The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and other states.” Fauci called the surge in states such as California “very troublesome.”