California reached a grim milestone Tuesday, recording more than 20,000 deaths as the result of Covid-19 infections.
The state’s Department of Public Health added 112 fatalities Tuesday, bringing the total to 20,047 since the pandemic hit the Golden State.
Daily case counts have more than doubled in the past two weeks. Today, 23,272 new infections were reported statewide. California has seen a 55% increase in test positivity rate over the past two weeks, which currently stands at 8.7%.
“The fact is that transmission is now so widespread across our state that most all nonessential activities create a serious risk for transmission,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said in a news conference Tuesday.
That surge in cases continues to haunt the state’s health care system. A record high of 10,500 admitted patients are receiving treatment today, Ghaly said. Over the past two weeks, hospitalizations are up 71%, with new intensive care admissions close behind with a 68.7% increase. Ghaly expressed concern that highly trained health care workers will “not be able to provide the kind of care Californians have come to expect.”
As intensive care unit capacity in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley has dipped below 15%, residents in those areas are under a new stay-at-home order. Much of the Bay Area joined the order, despite not falling under the same threshold. Restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks. Intensive care unit capacity in Southern California is 10.1%, and only 5.6% in the San Joaquin Valley.
Under the order, residents can still go to doctor visits, buy groceries and worship outdoors. Retail is still open as well. California is still under a travel advisory, and Ghaly is urging people to cancel all travel with the exception of that which is deemed essential.
“Together we can stop the surge. “I know that you’re all tired I know that it’s exhausting. I certainly share some of that exhaustion, as well," he said.
Note: These numbers were released by the California Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.