During the first wave of the coronavirus here in California the number of daily cases peaked in July at just under 13,000. Today, the state’s coronavirus dashboard shows the number of cases reported in the last 24 hours was 20,759. That’s a new record and there’s reason to think the number will continue climbing.
Because California has such a large population it’s still doing better on a per capita basis than a lot of states but maybe not for much longer. In short, the numbers look pretty bad right now:
The 14-day test positivity rate sat at 5.6% one week ago. On Tuesday, that number skyrocketed to 6.5%. Over the past 24 hours, it rose nearly a half percent to 6.9%. In a state as large as California, that half percent alone could mean as many as 200,000 more infections…
On Tuesday, the California Covid-19 dashboard indicated that, while the state had actually seen a decrease in infected ICU patients, the line tracing the number of hospitalizations was nearly straight up, with the state reporting a record 9,365 people hospitalized with the virus.
The percentage of hospitalized COVID patients who require treatment in an ICU has been steady at 12 percent, so if hospitalizations spike, ICU beds will fill up and at present they are already more than halfway full. Los Angeles County has contributed significantly to the numbers statewide. The positivity rate in LA County is now at 12 percent. The County’s health director called the increases “terrifying.”
The county reported another 5,987 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, one day after reporting a record-high 7,593 new cases.
The county also reported 40 additional deaths and more than 2,400 people currently hospitalized.
“We’re seeing terrifying increases in numbers in L.A. County that can only be turned around if everyone – businesses and individuals – carefully use the tools we have to slow the spread,” said county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
On Monday, Gov. Newsom warned that the state would take “drastic” action if things didn’t improve quickly. Specifically he warned another sat-at-home order was being considered. But some counties aren’t waiting for the state to act. A new lockdown order took effect Monday which bans most gatherings with the exception of outdoor church services or outdoor protests.
For the first time since early October, most gatherings among people from different households in L.A. County are again officially prohibited, with the exception of outdoor religious gatherings and outdoor political protests.
This supersedes the previous rule that allowed for only small, outdoor gatherings of 15 or fewer people from up to three different households, for a duration of no more than two hours.
Essential retail stores are limited to 35% of capacity; for grocery stores, that was a reduction from the current cap of 50% capacity.
Nonessential retail stores, malls, libraries and personal care establishments such as hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, piercing shops, tanning services and massage therapy are limited to 20% of capacity; previously, they operated at 25% of capacity.
Basically schools and outdoor activities are unaffected but everything else is heavily restricted. Restaurants can only offer take-out. Similar restrictions were put in place in Santa Clara County, which was one of the first counties in the country to impose a lockdown order in the spring.
I don’t think Gov. Newsom will wait much longer to put a statewide order in place. The record number of new cases today and the fact that they could be higher tomorrow means he’ll probably put something in place starting this weekend.
Of course it would really help California Democrats’ case that this surge needs to be taken seriously if they would stop saying one thing and doing something entirely different. If we’re going into another lockdown you better be prepared to lead by example. Why does that seem to be so hard for Democrats?
Here’s a local news report on the surge of cases in LA County: