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Health and Medicine

California Sees Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Spike, Newsom Sticks With Re-Opening Plan

Liam Moriarty
Screenshot from Gov. Gavin Newson's June 24 video press conference

California saw an increase of 7,149 positive coronavirus cases on Tuesday, its largest single-day increase.

Gov. Gavin Newsom pointed to more testing as a primary explanation for the rise in cases. The state processed more than 90,000 tests on Tuesday; in early May, it was processing about 30,000 per day.

However, other key metrics also indicate a surge in cases. In the last two weeks, the percentage of tests that came back positive statewide went up from 4.6% to 5.1%.

Perhaps more importantly, hospitalizations increased 29% in that time, to about 4,100 patients, and intensive care patients increased 18%, to over 1,200.

The governor says the state is monitoring these trends closely, but gave no indication that he plans to scale back the state’s re-opening. He said California’s health care infrastructure is prepared for an increase in cases that could coincide with modifying the stay-at-home order.

COVID-19 patients account for about 8% of hospital surge bed capacity statewide, which doesn’t include alternative care sites that have been set up.

The availability of protective and medical equipment has also increased. Newsom says the state has received tens of millions of N95 masks, with tens of millions more expected in the coming weeks. There are also over 11,000 ventilators available.

The governor cautioned Californians about attending seemingly innocuous social gatherings — such as barbeques and playdates for children — as the state loosens restrictions.

“People are mixing, and that is increasing the spread of this virus,” Newsom said. “We are not out of this pandemic.”

He reaffirmed his principle that “localism is determinative” — meaning local governments should lead the charge on determining when to re-open — despite issuing a statewide mask order days ago.