Coronavirus: Record high cases in California as US sees second-highest single-day increase

Highest number of tests conducted in the state as phased reopenings continue across the country

Justin Vallejo
New York
Thursday 25 June 2020 00:43
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Record high of new coronavirus cases in California

California set a record for daily coronavirus cases with 7,149 new infections on Tuesday after the US saw its second-highest single day since the pandemic began.

The state's new cases increased by 69 per cent in two days from 4,230 amid a record high level of testing across California, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday.

Across the country, meanwhile, figures from the World Health Organisation showed the US recorded 36,617 new cases on Sunday – the second highest so far behind only the 38,509 cases recorded almost two months ago on 26 April.

Mr Newsom said the increase in new cases coincided with a record 96,000 tests conducted in the 24-hour reporting period.

"It's been stated by many regardless of your ideology, political stripes or where you land on this pandemic, that as you increase the total number of tests invariably you're going to increase the total number of cases," he said.

"And that's certainly demonstrable in the example that we are providing here today."

While new cases increased to record numbers as a result of record testing, Mr Newsom said the more accurate figure to look at is the positivity rate.

Over the increase in new cases and testing of the past two days, the positivity rate increased from 4.8 per cent to 5.1 per cent.

State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health, Dr Sonia Angell, said the pandemic is "far from over".

"Increased testing will continue to detect more cases, but this only serves as evidence that Covid-19 is in our communities," Ms Angell said.

"Continued increases in Covid-19 cases are expected and likewise, hospitalisations are starting to increase,"

Over the past two weeks in California, hospitalisations increased by 29 per cent from 3,177 up to 4,095 during the most recent 24-hour reporting period.

To date, California has conducted almost 3.5 million tests, confirmed 183,073 cases and recorded 5,580 deaths.

As cases increase across the country, with 27.5 million tests now conducted nationally, states are continuing with phased reopening as outlined by the White House coronavirus taskforce.

In the Tri-state area, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory that people arriving from states with a high number of cases would be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The World Health Organisation said that the pandemic was "definitely accelerating" in the US and other countries, and it wasn't necessarily connected to the increased level of testing.

In its latest Situation Report on Covid-19 on Sunday, the organisation reported the largest single-day increase worldwide, inflated by the 36,600 in the US and 54,700 in Brazil.

WHO emergencies chief Dr Michael Ryan said they "do not believe this is a testing phenomenon", which does not explain an increase in hospitalisations or deaths.

According to the WHO's count of the data, the number of deaths in the US has been trending downward since early May, with less than 1,500 per day over the past four weeks for a total of 120,171 in the country.

Since the spike in new US cases reported on Sunday, the number of cases has also trended downward this week for a total of 2,295,272.

"The epidemic is now peaking or moving towards a peak in a number of large countries," Mr Ryan said.

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