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California Coronavirus Cases Creeping Up

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Since October, California’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has ticked up to 3.3%.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's Health and Human Services Secretary today called the increase slow and steady, compared with the huge case surge in the Midwest.

"If we had a test positivity for the entirety of the U.S., it would be 6.7%, so just over double what we're seeing here in California," he said.

Ghaly credited a gradual reopening plan that was implemented after lessons learned during a surge of cases in July. The color-coded reopening structure sorts counties into four tiers based on the severity of their local outbreak and restricts which businesses can be open and which rules they have to follow.

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"Now we go slower and we believe that gives us significantly more time to see how the impact of certain sector changes play out in our case numbers, our test positivity as well as our hospitals and ICUs," Ghaly told a press conference.


In August, 38 counties were in the most restrictive purple tier, which indicates widespread transmission. Now that list is down to 10, including L.A. and newly added Shasta County.

As expected with increasing cases, hospitalizations are up, along with a 20% increase in ICU cases, although Ghaly said the state’s hospitals can handle the current number of patients.

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