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Without fanfare — or one of Governor Gavin Newsom’s regular press conferences — California quietly posted the news that there were 11,126 new confirmed coronavirus cases reported on Wednesday. That’s the second-highest total of new cases since the pandemic began, eclipsed only by the 11,694 new cases reported last Tuesday. But last week’s record was padded by numbers from delayed tests. There is little indication of any such delays being included in Wednesday’s number.

The new highs are more than five times the total of new cases reported one month ago, on June 15. That number was 2,108.

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The total number of deaths is 7,227, an increase of 140. That increase is the second-highest daily COVID-related death count ever seen in the state, not far behind the all-time high reported last Thursday with 149 lives lost over the past 24 hours. The previous high before those two peaks had been 115 deaths.

The alarming trend of numbers underscores the seriousness of the crisis in the state.

Moments later, the director of the Los Angeles County Health department, Barbara Ferrer, announced the 7-day rolling average on the positivity rate of tests in the region is up to 9.8 percent. That’s compared to 9 percent yesterday.

“We are in an alarming place,” said Ferrer. She followed by saying there was now a “7-day average of 2,859 new cases a day. Double where it was in June.”

The day after the county reported a record number of hospitalizations, Ferrer said, “We now see a 3 day average of over 2,000 people hospitalized from COVID-19, more than at any other time since the pandemic began.” As a result, health officials indicated that the number of ICU beds may become inadequate. Hospital officials are implementing disaster orders to try and surge personnel.

“Keeping businesses open is only possible if we can slow the spread,” said Ferrer. Business owners and operators, she continued, “have a moral corporate responsibility to keep employees healthy.”

When asked about a renewed Safer-At-Home order, Ferrer said, “We can’t take anything off the table. We have to do everything we can to protect the health care system. Do we want to go back to a Safer-At home order? Absolutely not.”

The trends, however, seem to have L.A. headed in that direction.

On Monday California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all counties to close their restaurants, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, wineries, zoos and bars for indoor service. Bars were ordered to close entirely.

Additionally, L.A. and 31 other counties on the state’s monitoring list must close fitness centers, places of worship, nail and hair salons and indoor malls. Other L.A.-local counties impacted include Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Diego, Orange and virtually every other county in Southern California.

California now has 347,634 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 2.0 percent from the previous day’s total of 7,087. The number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results in California reached a total of 5,793,276 an increase of 118,321 tests. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 7.2 percent.

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