California Covid Cases Make What May Be Biggest One-Day Jump Of Pandemic, Up Nearly 4,000 In 24 Hours Amid Reporting Lags

California reported 14,099 new cases on Friday, the highest one-day total the state has seen since February 1, 2021. That is up from 10,450 new cases reported the day before, and comes amid a general trend of rising cases and quickly rising infection rates.

Things get a little murky from there, as the state’s case number reporting on many recent days has included the proviso, “Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.” See for yourself here.

Such was the case with Thursday’s case numbers and for most of the days in the past week. But today’s count did not include that disclaimer, which would seem to indicate today’s numbers are up to date.

Looking at the state’s historical chart of case counts, today’s 3,649 extra cases seems to be the largest one-day jump of the pandemic, though there are some days missing from the official state record.

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More accurate measures of infection spread also confirm a rapid rise.

On July 4, the overall 7-day average of Covid cases per 100,000 was 4.6. Today, that number has risen to 24.6 per 100,000. The 7-day average of cases is considered a good measure of the rate of infection spread because it’s both an average and set to a seven day lag, which gives slowly-reported numbers time to be reconciled and backdated, which is what’s happening of late with California’s case counts.

The rise from a 7-day average of 4.6 per 100,000 to 24.6 per 100,000 is a 400+% jump. The average is up over 6% in the past 24 hours alone – it was 23.2 on Thursday. The curve was much, much steeper among the unvaccinated.

For the week of August 7, the average 7-day case rate among unvaccinated Californians was 51 per 100,000 per day. That’s comparable with the overall rate the state saw in late January. Meanwhile, the average case rate among vaccinated Californians for the week of August 7 was significantly lower at 8.2 per 100,000 per day.

California is “currently experiencing the fastest increase in Covid-19 cases during the entire pandemic,” State Public Health Officer Tomás Aragón confirmed on Wednesday.

All those cases are leading to a continued rise in hospitalizations which, though not as sharp as the growth the state saw in the winter surge, is still considerable. In the past week, the state has added 1,000 more Covid-infected patients to hospitals, going from 5,953 last Friday to 7,063 today.

See chart below for a visual representation of the current rise and how it compares with that of the winter surge.

Remember, hospitalizations lag case counts, so the patients being seen now are the result of Covid cases identified 1-2 weeks ago. That means the current trend in cases will likely continue to impact hospitals for some time.

As for the other data points, Covid-related ICU admissions were up about .8% in the past 24 hours to 1,568. Daily Covid-related deaths, which have ranged from about 10-20 daily since early July, jumped to 61 on Friday.

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