California recorded more than 8,000 coronavirus infections on Monday, smashing the state’s daily record for the third time in eight days. Yesterday saw the state record more than 6,000 cases attributed to the virus.
And California is bracing for more bad news. Across the Golden State, cases have steadily risen alongside admissions to hospitals and ICUs.
But the trends are applying uneven pressure to the state’s regions. As of Saturday in Southern California’s Riverside County, 99% of ICU beds were in use, leaving just 5 available for new admissions.
Imperial County, which borders Mexico, has in recent weeks sent 500 patients to neighboring regions because hospital capacity had been maxed, California governor Gavin Newsom said Monday.
In hard-hit Los Angeles County, new cases topped 3,000 on Monday alone and raised fear that infections could spike further in the week ahead. LA Health officials say the surge is likely the result of businesses and restaurants not following guidelines, even weeks after reopening, and Californians letting down their guard.
The metrics have 19 counties, home to 72% of the state’s population on a “watch list”, monitored closely by public health experts. Four additional counties are expected to join the list by day’s end, said Newsom, fueling concern that family gatherings over Independence Day weekend could send cases upward.
It’s been enough for Newsom to encourage certain counties to “toggle back” reopening plans and consider issuing new stay-at-home orders — and he indicated he’s willing to use a heavier hand to make sure the measures are enforced.
“If you’re not going to stay home, if you’re not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce”, he said, adding that additional details can be expected later in the week.
While data on Monday can be inflated from reporting delays over the weekend, writes Mercury News, Monday’s 8,000 new cases is 25% higher than any previous Monday.