New cases of Covid-19 in California increased by around 10% over the weekend, a period that often sees undercounts due to the decrease in testing on Saturdays and Sundays. The 10,356 new cases reported on Friday rose to a daily three-day average of 11,135 on Monday. (The state has stopped reporting daily cases on weekends and is now reporting a three-day delay lump sum Monday.)
The 10% increase on Monday follows a 39% increase in one day from Thursday to Friday last week, which is a total increase of more than 49% in new cases since Thursday alone. More reliable measures of the spread of infection have also increased significantly.
As of Wednesday, the number of infections per 100,000 people in the state stood at 12.7. As of Monday, that had risen to 16.7 infections per 100,000, an increase of about 30% in five days.
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The state’s 7-day test positivity rate – another reliable indicator of spread – fell from 6.2% on Thursday to 6.9% on Monday. That’s an 8% increase. On June 15, the day the state lifted restrictions on Covid-19, the 7-day test positivity rate was 0.9%.
California hospitals have added more than 1,000 new Covid patients over the past week, a substantial increase given that the number of patients hospitalized with the virus on Monday, 26 was 3,595. Today, the reported number of infected patients was 4,772.
LA is responsible for much of the push. One day last week, the county, which represents 25% of the state’s population, recorded nearly half of its daily new cases.
Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica – a city where about 80% of eligible residents are vaccinated – is currently teeming with Covid patients, according to a New York Times report from Monday.
Figures presented by LA County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer last Tuesday indicate that there has been a five-fold increase in the number of new Covid patients under the age of 12. (Looking ahead, those under 12, who are not eligible for vaccination, make up about 15% of the county’s population.) While the number of crude cases was low compared to county residents ages 12 to 49 years, data indicating the spread of infections is not.
In the two-week period ending July 18, there were 89 cases per 100,000 people aged 0 to 4 and 112 cases per 100,000 aged 5 to 11. Although no pediatric deaths from Covid have been recorded in the county for the period from June 18 to July. 18. Ferrer’s presentation to the board of directors indicated that the hospitalization rate for children aged 0 to 4 in Los Angeles County has doubled in one month. See the table below.
Soaring rates of cases among the very young are precisely what many health experts fear, as daily vaccinations are still low compared to last winter and the state’s vaccination rate for all citizens – including those who are not eligible for vaccines – remains less than 55%. Many children in the state are expected to return to school soon, where masks have been mandatory.
News from an East Bay area school district that recently reverted to in-person learning is not promising. The Brentwood neighborhood of 11 schools confirmed at least 15 positive cases of Covid among its students and staff just three days after the start of the new school year. While cases in children are most often mild, a faster spread due to the Delta variant – and the possibility of new variants appearing as the virus mutates among new hosts – is not a pretty picture. for kids or parents, who have already been through a year of pandemic worries, let alone home schooling.