California shattered its single-day record for most new coronavirus cases Monday as the number of people hospitalized statewide due to the virus also reached record levels.
As of Monday evening, county health departments had reported more than 6,000 new cases, with several counties still yet to report, according to data compiled by The Chronicle. California hadn’t exceeded 4,515 new cases in a single day previously, according to the state’s health department.
Monday’s number included some counties reporting multiple-day totals after not updating their case counts over the weekend, and state officials note that daily case counts might not represent true day-over-day change due to lags in reporting of results.
However, officials in Los Angeles County, which reported a record 2,545 new cases Monday, noted that total reflected not just testing but a higher rate of tests coming back positive.
“Today marks the third day in a week that we have reported 2,000 or more cases of COVID-19,” county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “And while some of the increases are due to test reporting issues, it is clear that much of the increase represents more community transmission.”
Officials said Los Angeles County’s average 8.4% positive rate over the last seven days is higher than its overall 8% rate and up from a seven-day average of 5.8% just 10 days ago.
“Throughout our recovery journey, we have said that it is likely that the number of cases will increase as more people are out of their homes and around other people,” the county health department wrote in a series of Twitter posts. “It is very important to watch how this increase in cases translates into hospitalizations over the next few weeks.”
In California, where many counties have eased shelter-in-place orders and eased economic and social restrictions over the past few weeks, the state health department reported its four highest one-day case totals last week. The state has recorded more than one-quarter of its total confirmed cases – more than 46,000 – in the last two weeks.
That is partly due to increased testing. But the statewide rate of positive tests has also ticked upward. California recorded a seven-day average positive rate of 4.89% last week, June 15-21, compared to 4.61% the previous week and 4.37% two weeks earlier, according to a Chronicle analysis of state data.
Gov. Gavin Newsom referenced the increases in new cases and positive tests in a news conference on Monday, saying: “We’re (not) out of the woods.”
Meanwhile, hospital cases of COVID-19 – which are viewed as a more reliable indicator of the virus’ trajectory as they are not subject to testing availability – have also been on the rise.
California recorded a new single-day high of 3,702 patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday, surpassing its previous high of 3,572 hospitalizations reported Saturday.
The state reached an initial one-day peak of 3,497 confirmed hospital cases on April 29 and saw that number drop to 2,928 on May 29. It has risen steadily since, with Sunday’s total marking an increase of 24.5% over three weeks and 16.3% over two weeks.
The nine Bay Area counties surpassed 300 new daily cases for the first time June 12 and 400 for the first time June 17. Hospital rates in the region, though, have stayed mostly stable. Bay Area counties reported 244 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals Sunday, identical to two weeks earlier and a 2.8% drop from four weeks earlier on May 24.