It looks like the surge in COVID-19 cases in California (CA) has not ended yet. While cases are no longer making remarkable new highs, the 7-day rolling averages (solid blue line against the left axis in the figure below) are still increasing – reaching a new high of 8,242 (recent data are a little bit distorted by Los Angeles County restatement of data). The imposition of statewide masking on June 18th should have kicked in this week. But spotty compliance may not be sufficient to stop the surge. On July 1st, the governor also shut all bars, indoor restaurants, and movie theatres for 70% of the most infected population which should bite in a couple of weeks. If not, additional rollback of reopening steps may be required.
In the meantime, death counts (brown line showing 7-day rolling average against the right axis) have started to rise after a 2-3 week lag toward a new high and reached a single-day high of 150 deaths. Death counts will continue to rise for the rest of July (green triangles against the right axis), but there are some signs that recent mitigation steps are helping. Wider testing has lowered the case fatality rate (deaths/cases) from near 4% in mid-April to near 2% now.
The percentage of tests returning positive results are still rising – hitting a new high of 11.7% today. This indicates that the virus is still spreading throughout the state. However, the number of net new hospitalizations (admissions minus discharges) has topped out near 200 per day (205 today). This suggests that the majority of the 8,000 new cases are mostly asymptomatic or mild.
More optimistically the net new ICU usage has started to decline and actually went negative today at -8. This suggests that the rise in death counts may not last too long. This outlook is much brighter than the current experience in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. So a somewhat mixed picture but there are some reasons to be optimistic that the recent mitigation actions taken by the governor will help California control this pandemic a second time if everyone contributes by masking, social distancing, and washing hands.