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Newsom: 35.6% of state's total COVID-19 cases occurred in last 2 weeks

SF Gate logo SF Gate 6/22/2020 Amy Graff
Gavin Newsom wearing a suit and tie: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California saw its first daily decrease in intensive care hospitalizations during the coronavirus outbreak, during his daily news briefing at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Thursday, April 9, 2020. © Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California saw its first daily decrease in intensive care hospitalizations during the coronavirus outbreak, during his daily news briefing at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Thursday, April 9, 2020.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom provided an update on the coronavirus pandemic Monday, delivering a clear message that new cases are increasing and people need to wear their masks.

As of Sunday, the state has reported 46,735 cases since mid-March. Newsom noted that in the past two weeks alone, the state has seen 35.6% of all cases thus far.

"Those that suggest we're out of the woods, those that suggest this somehow is going to disappear, these numbers tell a very, very different and sobering story," Newsom said."We're not out of the first wave."

The number of people tested in the state has gone up significantly with a record number of 92,000 tests implemented Sunday and more than 3 million tests conducted since mid-March. And while the increase in tests translates to more cases, the state's positivity rate — the number of people who have tested positive divided by the total number of tests administered — has gone up. The rate went from from 4.5% last Monday to 4.8% today. This is still below the 8% threshold that Newsom said last week indicated when the situation is considered more severe and worrisome.

Hospitalizations have also gone up 16% in the past two weeks and ICU patients are up 11%. "Despite an increase in the number of hospitalizations and ICU patients, our hospital capacity remains stable and is much better than where we were months ago," Newsom said.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly notes in some counties seeing more significant increases in cases, the uptick isn't only the result of increased testing. The state is working with 11 counties with concerning increases, including Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Stanislaus counties. Last week the number of counties under surveillance was 13.

Newsom reiterated the need for residents to follow the statewide mask order to stop the spike in cases.

He explained breathing sends droplets 4.5 feet, coughing 6 feet and sneezes as much as 26 feet.

Newsom issued a mask order last week requiring face coverings in common and public indoor spaces and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. (Read more about the order on SFGATE.)

Newsom ended his Monday press briefing by encouraging residents to listen to their local health directors and follow their county health orders.

"We are a very resourced state," the governor said. "We are in a much better position than we have ever been to tackle this pandemic, mark my words, we are in a much better position across the spectrum than we have been in many, many months. But the numbers are increasing as we reopen the economy. And as we reopen all I ask is that we are more vigilant than we have been, even perhaps than we were a few weeks ago. We need to get out of this first wave and prepare for a second wave and get through this together, and get those immunizations out and we’ll get back to a more resilient mindset and a more robust and abundant California."

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Amy Graff is SFGATE's news editor. Email her: agraff@sfgate.com.

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