California sets back-to-back records for highest daily coronavirus cases
California has broken back-to-back records this week in its daily number of coronavirus cases as the state continues to see dangerous spikes in the number of infections.
On Monday, the state shattered a daily record for new cases, reporting more than 6,000 infections for the first time since the pandemic hit the U.S. One day later, that number shot up even higher, as 6,652 new cases were reported Tuesday.
Throughout the state, where nearly than 193,900 infections and more than 5,600 related deaths have been announced, cases have surged in recent days, and hospitalizations have continued to tick up.
In Orange County, the number of infections surpassed 10,000 over the weekend and jumped to more than 10,700 Tuesday.
Despite that increase, as well as a rise in daily average hospitalizations last week, Orange County is not one of the 10 counties the state is monitoring. That list includes Los Angeles and Riverside counties, where the two highest case counts of the coronavirus can be found in California.
At least three restaurants in Orange County have recently closed after employees tested positive for the virus.
Baja Sharkeez in Huntington Beach and Meat Up BBQ in Placentia both closed after an employee at each establishment tested positive. Javier’s in Newport Beach voluntarily closed for “deep cleaning” last week, according to an answering machine message, and remains closed without further explanation. The county confirmed last week it was investigating a possible outbreak at the eatery.
California reported more than 6,000 infections Tuesday — the largest single-day count in the state since the pandemic hit the U.S.
On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom called on residents to report businesses and restaurants that are not meeting reopening guidelines.
“When you go to a restaurant and it’s clear that they’re not practicing what we are preaching, report them. Give us the tools to enforce,” he said.
Los Angeles County made a similar plea last week for residents to contact the Public Health Department if they spot a business that isn’t up to county standards after roughly 1,000 restaurants were found in violation of new protocols.
On Wednesday, L.A. County reported 34 additional coronavirus-linked deaths and 1,260 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to nearly 89,500. The update comes after officials reported on Tuesday more than 2,000 cases for the fourth time in a week.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer previously said it is “highly likely” that the surge is connected to mass protests that erupted over the death of George Floyd, in addition to clusters at restaurants and parties. But officials are not tracking the origin of spread in public spaces, so it is impossible to know for certain where the virus traveled to and from.
The increases in Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties have contributed to an overall rise in hospitalizations recorded statewide.
Officials have continued to stress the need for residents to wear face coverings and get tested if they believe they’ve been exposed. But in L.A. County, officials said Tuesday that testing appointments at city- and county-run sites were full for the rest of the week. People with symptoms were advised to contact their physicians or try independently run sites.
Additionally, the county reported there was a drop in the total number of available tests in the first week of June, largely because of closures at sites during the protests. There was also an increase in the number of scheduled appointments for people who did not show up for testing.
“Those two things combined resulted in a decline in the number of total tests that were completed,” said Kathleen Piche of the Department of Health Services.
In Orange County, the number of reported testing also fell in recent days. According to the county’s dashboard, 1,582 tests were conducted Monday, the lowest number since testing was made available.
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