California observed a continued decline of coronavirus cases during the President’s Day weekend, later dropping below their highest peak during the summertime for the first time in three months.
Officials announced there were less than 10,000 confirmed cases in the last two days. However, case numbers could jump due to several counties not releasing updates on their number of cases on Sunday or Monday.
However, California has averaged fewer cases in the last week, recording about 8,050 new daily cases. Last month, the state saw upwards of five times that number, worrying residents and officials about the damage of the pandemic. In the last two weeks, authorities observed a 57% decrease in the number of infections.
The state’s hospitalization rates have also dropped by 40% in the last two weeks. As of Sunday, officials only recorded a total of 8,693 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Hospitals across California also reported a near 20% increase in intensive-care unit capacity in the last two weeks. And since the first week of December, active ICU patients were at an all-time low.
While the state’s coronavirus numbers have been dropping steadily, the string of deaths related to the COVID-19 virus continues. California recorded an average of 400 deaths per day in the last week, a first for the state since the beginning of the year.
From the beginning of January until mid-February, California has recorded a total of more than 21,000 COVID-19-related fatalities, just 4,000 short of the deaths in the first nine months of the pandemic. Two weeks ago, the state saw its highest death rate which has since gone down to an average of 377 every day.
Across California, 64 deaths were reported on Monday, 55 of which were the combined total from Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. In the Bay Area, some counties only reported a handful of fatalities, Mercury News reported.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly, is set to announce on Tuesday a weekly update regarding the state’s reopening tier assignments. Narrowly failing to get out of the most restrictive purple tier, San Francisco averaged 11.4 cases per day for every 100,000 residents. While Santa Clara County recorded an adjusted 15.9 cases per day for every 100,000 residents.
In order to move to a less restrictive tier, a county must record an adjusted case rate of less than seven confirmed cases for every 100,000 residents. Additionally, the area’s positivity rate should be less than 8%. While all Bay Area counties have reached the positivity rate threshold, officials struggle to control the adjusted case rates.