The COVID-19 cases in California again set a daily record

In California, most coronavirus cases were re-registered on Monday in a single day, amid a sustained and alarming wave of infection threatening swamp hospitals across the country.

According to data compiled by The Times, the number of newly confirmed infections, 21,848, exceeds the peak of 20,654 a week ago. The latest number was partly increased by the backlog from Thanksgiving.

On Monday night, an average of 14,000 cases of coronavirus were averaged daily in California over a seven-day period – a level not seen at any point in the entire pandemic.

The new record closes depressingly a month in which the resurgent epidemic roared to unprecedented heights in California. Only 298,000 of the state’s more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases were diagnosed in November alone, most of a single month.

California’s recent numbers, though never seen before, remain lower in terms of population than many other states. Over the past seven days, there have been an average of 37.1 new cases per 100,000 residents in California each day – tied to the 15th lowest point in all states – according to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

While part of the state’s exponential growth stems from accelerated testing, officials say the proportion of tests that achieve a positive result has also increased – proving that the coronavirus is becoming more widespread.

The nationwide 14-day positivity rate rose to 6.5%, a marked increase from 4.7% where it was roughly two weeks earlier.

“Such a growth rate of cases, as well as the positivity rate, is a cause for concern,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a briefing Monday.

Decision-makers and public health officials are worried about how the number of infections rising in the sky will ultimately affect California hospitals.

State health officials have estimated that 12% of those who test positive for the virus will be hospitalized two to three weeks later – meaning a recent high number of cases would push even more people into the occupational health system.

This is a particularly torturous opportunity, given that the number of COVID-19 patients in California hospitals is growing at an unprecedented rate.

The Times analyzed that the average net increase in people cared for in hospital with COVID-19 in California is about 333 patients per day. The acceleration is twice as bad as the summer wave, with the average net increase in hospital care increasing by 173 patients a day over a weekend period at the end of June.

Officials are particularly monitoring the capacity of the California Intensive Care Unit. According to Newsom figures released Monday, about 75 percent of the beds in the state’s 7,733 intensive care units are occupied – 1,812 of them are filled with coronavirus patients.

Given the trends in things, the state could exhaust its existing intense intensity by mid-December, Newsom said.

The rural counties of Northern California may exceed ICU capacity by mid-December, Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley by mid-December, the Sacramento area by late December, and the Gulf area by early January.

ICU-level care typically means “special location, special equipment, and specialist staff,” which means that while hospitals can expand their capacity, their ability to do so is not endless, says Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s secretary of health and human services.

“The point is to see the capacity of the intensive care unit as the primary trigger for deeper, more restrictive actions,” he said on Monday, “when that capacity wears off, or even if it stretches so far that staff elongate, we need to create a place that they are not usually used for intensive care units, we know the quality of care … sometimes we dive in and we see results we don’t want to see ”because resources are also distributed thin.

In total, according to the latest available data, 8,240 coronavirus patients were hospitalized nationwide. This more than triples the hospital rate on November 2, when it was 2,602.

This is also the highest number recorded in a pandemic, and for the third consecutive day, the COVID-19 hospital record was broken.

Yet the whole figure tells only a part of the story. Because of California’s huge and geographically dispersed population, the coronavirus emphasizes different parts of the state’s health care system in different ways.

“Some counties in California don’t have a hospital, of course they don’t have many ICU beds, so they depend on regional networks of hospitals, different systems come together,” Ghaly said. “So we look at this on a regional basis … because what’s important is if a patient needs care and can’t get it in their community hospital, in their county, we need to make sure the surrounding counties” hospitals are able to serve these people. individuals. “

As the newly confirmed cases continue, officials warn that they will have to resort to drastic restrictions to change the trajectory of the state.

According to Newsom, these could include a new home order in the most stringent, purple areas of the California corona virus reopening system.

The exact details of when such an order can be issued, or in what form it would take, are still scarce at this point – although Newsom has promised that “we will provide some more information and recommendations in the near future. “

While the concept of staying home evokes the rapid, widespread closure of businesses and public spaces in the early days of a pandemic, government officials say they are seeking a more accurate approach this time around.

“One of the most important things we’ve learned is that we can not only have surgical interventions with what we do, but we can also prescribe for shorter or different periods of time,” Ghaly said. “Early on, some of these orders were indeed open-ended; we weren’t sure. We now know that certain interventions can have an impact more quickly, and that’s part of what we’re considering. “

While many local officials and residents have urged the state to be even more targeted — feeding restrictions and enforcement efforts toward certain sectors or even individual businesses and facilities that are reported to be a source of transmission — Ghaly said the spread of the coronavirus is so widespread that “Everyone is a little vulnerable to meeting someone who is infected. ”

“Everyone wants us to identify the sector where the spread is happening, and the truth is that when you have that level of community spread, it’s happening primarily in our community,” he said. “So the minute you enter indoors at the door of any entity, there’s a better chance I can meet someone who can really pass on COVID than ever before.”

Although the possibility of further shutdowns could increase the level of resentment, officials stressed that there is light at the end of the tunnel – including the potential expected arrival of the vaccine.

According to Newsom, California is expected to receive approximately 327,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 in the coming weeks.

While by no means a silver bullet – as widespread distribution is likely for months to come, officials say even the possibility of a limited number of doses is silver lined.

“Our most vulnerable groups can get vaccinated, our frontal health workers can get vaccinated in weeks – opening the door for many more to receive this important tool that protects us,” Ghaly said.