Updated: 18 December 2020 06:41 IST
California [US], December 18 (ANI / Xinhua): California reported 53,711 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a record for the most populous state in the United States.
The state also reported 293 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 21,481.
The California Department of Public Health said the new increase was partly due to a recently implemented self-processing feature that included more than 15,000 cases from previous days in the latest report.
“Today’s case count includes 38,374 recently reported cases that are part of the continuing increase across the state. The remaining 15,337 cases are from previous days,” the department said.
In collaboration with the counties, the state government automatically records clinical cases from the laboratories since Sunday.
Officials said the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 11.9 percent, and the 14-day positivity rate is 11 percent to date.
California, home to about 40 million residents, has recorded 1,671,081 confirmed cases so far.
Meanwhile, the remaining capacity of the intensive care unit (ICU) in the 11-county Southern California region, which includes Los Angeles County, fell to 0.5% as of Wednesday, while the San Joaquin region Valley, which includes 12 counties in central California, is zero-capacity available in the ICU.
The two regions are home to approximately 33 million people in the most populous state in the United States, representing 84% of the state’s population.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported Wednesday the highest number of new deaths, cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 ever reported during the pandemic in the most populous county in the United States.
Local county officials confirmed 138 new deaths and 22,422 new cases of COVID-19. Since November 9, the average daily deaths have risen by nearly 600%, from 12 average deaths a day to more than 70 this week.
ICU capacity in the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento region and Northern California region also declined on Wednesday.
In response to the recent surge in new infections, California Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month announced plans for a regional stay-at-home order based on hospital capacity, which will be activated when less than 15% of beds are available in intensive care for a region.
The Greater Sacramento region, with 13 counties, will continue to be subject to the stay-at-home order as ICU bed capacity dropped to 14.1 percent.
The Northern California region, which mostly includes rural counties in the state, has the highest ICU availability in the state, standing at 28.1 percent.
Meanwhile, according to local authorities, the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines has arrived in the state and further shipments will continue to arrive throughout this week.
The first doses will be administered to health workers and residents of long-term care facilities, officials added. (ANI / Xinhua)