Newsom said the state had faced around 295,000 backlogged cases and that there were “around 20,000 positive cases in this cohort.”
California coronavirus update: Daily tally of COVID-19 infections sees mysterious swing a day after Newsom’s promise
“This will be the last day we have to report backlogged cases,” Newsom said. “It was the day we made a commitment to account for our efforts, to clear the backlog, to bring forward all the positive cases related to the backlog,” he said.
He said the state had seen a 19.9% decrease in hospitalizations over the past 14 days. There has been a 14% drop in occupants of ICUs affected by COVID-19.
“Even in the central valley,” Newsom said, “we are seeing a growth rate starting to decline.”
If these trends continue, the governor said schools will reopen “sooner or later”.
Over the past few days, the new daily case count in California has changed dramatically. California’s COVID-19 dashboard said on Thursday that the state had 7,085 new cases. This is much less than the 11,645 reported Wednesday. In fact, it looked a lot more like the 7,751 new cases reported on Monday, before the backlog numbers started showing.
Still, the infection rate and the number of cases in California appear to be declining.
The state-reported COVID death numbers, however, are unaffected by these errors. The state recorded 188 more deaths on Friday, putting it on the brink of the 11,000 coronavirus deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic. The exact number is 10,996.
Those numbers have remained stubbornly high as coronavirus hospitalizations and the need for intensive care declined. But deaths are a late indicator. This means that, as fewer patients need this intensive care, the number of deaths from the virus will also decrease.
But the state may not be out of the woods yet. Newsom warned that, even with intensified testing, he believes the coronavirus is “significantly more widespread than these numbers [suggest] and that’s because we haven’t scaled our tests “to meet the scale of the crisis.
Watch Newsom’s press conference below.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control issued his own warning on Thursday. Dr James Redfield said the pandemic, coupled with the looming influenza season, could create the “worst public health fall we’ve ever had.”
Redfield said the severity of the fall depends on how often Americans wear face masks, stay 6 feet from each other, wash their hands and avoid crowded gatherings.
The scenario health experts warn is an influenza season on top of an already widespread and active pandemic. It would overwhelm hospitals and lead to many more deaths as people cannot get treatment.