State’s daily COVID-19 case average has more than doubled in last 2 weeks

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly takes media questions during his Tuesday briefing on COVID-19. (Photo via YouTube)

California’s average number of new coronavirus cases per day has more than doubled over the last two weeks, one of the state’s top health officials said Tuesday.

The state recorded 23,272 cases Tuesday and has averaged 23,503 new cases per day over the last seven days, according to state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

The state was recording around 11,000 new cases per day on average two weeks ago, Ghaly said, a reflection of the surge of new cases that has engulfed much of the state.

“It is so ubiquitous, so around our communities that many actions and activities are causing the transmission,” Ghaly said.

Test positivity has been on the rise over the last two weeks, according to Ghaly, with the state’s seven-day test positivity rate sitting at 10.1 percent and its 14-day positivity rate at 8.7 percent.

As a result of the sheer number of new cases, coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have also skyrocketed over the last 14 days.

Hospitalizations have risen 71 percent over the last two weeks while ICU admissions have jumped 68.7 percent over that same span of time.

At 10,567, the state now has its highest number of hospitalized coronavirus patients since the pandemic began.

State officials have rolled out new regional stay-at-home orders to combat the rise in transmission and minimize social mixing both at businesses and in private gatherings.

Ghaly pointed to the success of lockdowns in European countries like the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands as templates for what state officials hope to accomplish with the new orders, which have gone into effect for Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley and parts of the Bay Area.

“Rather than focus on the sector-by-sector restrictions, the top of our message is, as much as you can, stay home,” Ghaly said. “We know that it works, we know that we can bring transmission rates down.”

Information on the state’s stay-at-home orders can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/#regional-stay-home-order.

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