As COVID-19 cases again begin to spike in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that the possibility for counties, and even the entire state, to pause or reverse the process of reopening remains very real if the virus’ spread continues to increase.
While the state has largely seen a downward trend of positivity rates — the number of those who test positive compared to the number of those who receive tests — the past week saw an alarming increase of half a percent, from 5.1% over the past 14 days to 5.6% over the past 7 days.
“Point of caution: The positivity rate has begun to increase over the course of the last few weeks,” Newsom said. “We are seeing 56,000 new cases in just the past 14 days,” Newsom said.
California saw an all-time record high of 7,1498 new detected infections on Wednesday, he said. Thursday’s report was lower, at 5,349 new COVID-19 cases, which is “still higher than we’d like it to be. Still a point of concern,” Newsom said.
“To the extent we’re, making progress, we’ll continue to move forward, not backward, in a thoughtful way,” he said.
“To the extent we do not see progress being made, and we’re not advancing the cause of public health and public safety, then we certainly reserve the right to put a pause in terms of advancing into the subsequent phase,” Newsom said.
Furthermore, “We have the capacity and ability to toggle back in terms of the stay-at- home order and the guidance that we put out,” he said.
Pasadena reported six new detected infections on Thursday, bringing total detected cases of COVID-19 to 1,213, according to city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
A new death reported Wednesday brought total recorded fatalities associated with the novel coronavirus in Pasadena to 89. No deaths were reported Thursday.
Fifty-three COVID-19 patients were being treated at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena as of Thursday, hospital data shows.
“The city will work in coordination with our county and state partners to move forward in sync, and after careful review of the current data, science and trends available at the time,” Derderian said.
Eleven of the state’s 58 counties, including Los Angeles County, have been mentioned by the governor as particularly worrisome with respect to the spread of coronavirus. With more than 89,000 cases reported as of Wednesday, L.A. county reportedly led the nation in infections.
Thirty-two percent of COVID-19 patients required hospitalization over the past 14 days, Newsom said, increasing from 29 percent over recent weeks.
Increased testing remains needed, as well, according to Newsom.
Roughly 3.7 million people have been tested since the outset of the pandemic, the governor said. Over the past seven days, an average of 88,000 tests have been administered in the state each day.
“While that is significant, it’s not where we need to be,,” he said.