That California is "roaring back" has become Newsom's mantra as he announces programs funded by the state's record budget surplus. "In two weeks, we can end this pandemic in the United States of America," said an upbeat Governor Gavin Newsom at a news conference on Monday. Ironically, nowhere was that assertion more true on Monday than in the state's skyrocketing Covid-19 numbers.
See chart below. Another trusted sign of community spread is cases per 100,000. Before Newsom reopened the state on June 15, that number would have put the state as a whole in the Red or "Substantial" spread tier of the governor's Blueprint for a Safer Economy. On Monday, the state was at 6.9 cases per 100,000.
"We have an opportunity to not have to deal with these mandates or recommendations," he said.
Asked specifically about any plans at the state level to impose new restrictions Newsom — who is facing a recall election in September — said, "We are committed to addressing this latest increase in new cases in the state of CA." He then went on to talk about the local county initiatives — which last week reimposed about half of the state's population to wear masks again in public — before encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. Due to the rising numbers, the state's largest metropolis reinstated an indoor public mask mandate on Saturday for all residents, no matter their vaccination status.
Also, case numbers are usually lower over the weekend and on Mondays because fewer people get tested on weekends. The last time daily case numbers were that high in the state was February 22 of this year during the winter surge. That does not bode well for the coming week. Today, that three-day total was 14,097, which breaks down to an average of 4,667 new cases per day. The state has stopped announcing Covid numbers on the weekends, instead issuing one big number on Monday. Test numbers are way down since February, however, which means a greater number of new cases may be going undetected.
Covid-related hospitalizations, a lagging indicator, have just about doubled since they hit a pre-reopening low on June 12 of 1,170. That number currently stands at 2,296.
"If you want this to end, get vaccinated." "We can get it done in a matter of weeks, if not months," said Newsom.
The graph of test positivity over time tells the story as well, going nearly vertical in the past two weeks — see chart below.
Those who have had the virus also have some immunity, but it is reportedly less than that of those who have been vaccinated. But the state still has a long way to go. So generously, let's say 30,000 people are now fully inoculated every day in California. That leaves 35% of the population who, for one reason or another, have not gotten the shots. Only about half of its 40 million residents are fully vaccinated. And roughly 15% of California's population is ineligible for the vaccines because they are under 12 years old. At that rate, it will take the state another 100-200 days to get to the 70-80% that infectious disease experts say constitutes herd immunity. The state is averaging 60,000 doses a day, of which the vast majority are a two-dose regimen. And with the more transmissible Delta variant now dominant in the state, Californians need all the protection they can get.” /> That average also includes the months when vaccination adoption is much higher.
Another lagging indicator is deaths, the number of which rose to a 3-day average of 17 from 7 on June 12. There is some hope on that count that the numbers may stay relatively low due to increased vaccination rates. But the more virulent Delta variant is a wild card in that calculation.
The test positivity rate, which hit a low of 0.7% on June 5 It's also higher than the overall U.S. test positivity rate, which say at 3.77% on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. According to the state dashboard, that's up 1.1% in just the past 7 days, which is a 37% rise week-over-week. The CA number is especially concerning because, unlike raw case numbers, it is an average and it accounts for the rise and fall in testing. Likewise, the state's 7-day average test positivity hit 4.1% on Monday.