After two plus years of the Covid epidemic and drought, the largest wildfire in recorded history and a recall election in California, Governor Gavin News yesterday left for Central and South America with his family for two weeks. Bad times.
The numbers published by the state in the media today indicate that the positivity of the Covid test is increasing again in the region and in its largest metropolis.
The state’s 7-day average test positive, which experts say is a good measure of disease prevalence, was 1.3% a week ago. Today, the state announced the positivity of its test – which jumped to 1.6% – an average of seven days for the one- and two-day variations in the report.
Although the numbers are still small, a significant 25% increase in the average number of 7 days in less than a week is significant, if only for the sharpness of the trend line which, if it continues, can add up very quickly. Towards a massive outbreak. In fact, the one-day test positivity rate is now 2.4%, up from 1.2% seven days ago.
Cases are also on the rise in the state. One week ago, the number of daily new cases recorded was 1,748, according to the CA Data Dashboard. Today, California announced 4,026 new cases in an email sent to reporters, the highest number of new cases in a month. Even the 7-day average is up to 2,022 (note: the state does not provide a daily 7-day average).
In Los Angeles, the positive rate of case and 7-day testing is also increasing rapidly. Although the LA County Department of Public Health has not yet released its numbers, the state dashboard indicates that, from 542 new cases a week ago, the county’s daily number stands at 1,040 today, up from 784 yesterday. This corresponds to a 1/4 ratio between daily cases in Los Angeles and California throughout the epidemic.
The 7-day average test positive rate was 0.7% at Golden State last Friday. Today it is 0.9%. This is an increase of 28% on an average of 7 days in a week interval.
The continued growth of BA.2 Omicron in this region has led to an increase in case and test positivity, a variant that is thought to be 30% more contagious than the original Omicron that destroyed the region last winter.
BA.2 is probably now the dominant variant in the state and LA, as well, according to county and CDC data.
In the last week of February, Los Angeles had a BA.2 of 6.3% new cases, respectively. As of March 12, the last date for which data is available, 32% of the positive Covid tests performed in laboratory sequencing in LA have resulted in BA.2. In light of that rise, and the pattern seen in every country in the world where BA.2 has held a significant position, it is most likely that more deadly strains are now dominating the region.
In fact, this week’s CDC data map shows BA.2 accounts for more than half of the new infections in three states, including California, Nevada and Arizona. See graphic below.
Unfortunately, although BA.2 has been spreading across the state for months, California has not yet broken the variant in its weekly report on variant ratios. More transmissible strains have been hidden with all other Omicron case detectors, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact percentage and how it has changed in the last few weeks.
Also difficult for those looking to track the spread, the California Department of Public Health announced today the following: [as opposed to daily]. Specifically, data on COVID-19 cases, test positivity, hospitalization, ICU numbers and availability, deaths and vaccine coverage will only be reported on CDPH’s public dashboard on Tuesdays and Fridays. “