California Observes 5% Positivity Rate for COVID-19, Lowest After Weeks of Struggles

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California’s seven-day average positivity rate for the coronavirus has reached a milestone of 5%, State Governor Gavin Newsom announced during his Monday message at his weekly press briefing.

Since mid-November, the state’s positivity rate has been much higher, even before Thanksgiving. Experts concluded that the gatherings and travel surges caused the increase in December and January, which are finally running out.

Low Number of COVID-19 Cases

The state’s positivity rate is the percentage of confirmed cases to the total number of tests conducted. Public health officials refer to the number to understand how the pandemic is spreading throughout California.

The governor mentioned that in the last seven days, cases went down to 29%, and hospitalizations are down about 34%. Intensive care unit and admissions during the previous two weeks went down by 25%.

California officials are also hopeful with the steady increase in the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in the region. The state has successfully administered more than 4.65 million doses, with 197,000 new vaccinations on Sunday. Governor Newsom said the recent numbers were double that which was observed a couple of weeks ago.

“Everything that should be up is up; everything that should be down is down. That is encouraging news,” Newsom said during a news conference. The event was held at San Diego’s Petco Park, which officials also designated as a mass vaccination site.

“The vaccinations, however, we can’t move fast enough. We are sober and mindful of the scarcity that is the number of available vaccines in the United States of America. Nonetheless, we are not naive about our responsibility here in the state of California to move these vaccines out of the freezers and into people’s arms,” said Newsom.

On Monday, Newsom admitted that California has been struggling with meeting the demand for the coronavirus vaccine. More and more counties in the region are steadily using up their supply of doses and prioritizing individuals who are ready to get their second shots.

More than 800,000 California residents have completed their immunization. However, millions of other eligible individuals have yet to receive their first doses. Last week the state only received just a little over a million doses of the vaccine, said Newsom. And the governor noted that next week’s shipment would only be slightly larger.

“We need to see that ramped up. We’re going to need to see more doses coming into the state of California in order to keep these mass sites operational and to keep things moving,” said Newsom, the San Francisco Gate reported.

Several California counties said they would allocate most of their vaccine schedule slots this week to individuals who received their first shot nearly a month ago.

The second dose should be given after three weeks of the first dose in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, while for the Moderna brand, the recommended gap is four weeks. However, according to the most recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both can be given up to six weeks after the initial shot and still be effective.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.