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SACRAMENTO December 16, 2020 – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including data on intensive care unit (ICU) capacity across the state. Based on ICU data, the Bay Area will enter the Regional Stay at Home Order Thursday, December 17, at 11:59 p.m. Three other regions, San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, and Greater Sacramento are already under the order.  

Today’s case counts, 53,711, are significantly higher than the prior few days in part due to the implementation of an auto-processing feature to track report the large volume of COVID-19 cases. In collaboration with counties, on December 13, the state began automatically processing positive cases reported by laboratories and these cases are reflected in our public reporting. Typically, local public health departments receive cases into an inbox and manually process those cases, however, with high transmission rates, this has become increasingly difficult. The auto processing feature ensures that local public health officials can quickly determine when cases occurred, which gives us all a better sense of COVID-19’s trajectory.

Today’s case count includes 38,374 newly reported cases that are part of the continued statewide surge. The remaining 15,337 cases are from previous days.

Regional Stay at Home Order

Regions must remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order for at least three weeks and will be eligible to exit the order and return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy only if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.

The dates that regions will be eligible to exit are: 

·         San Joaquin: December 28

·         Southern California: December 28

·         Greater Sacramento: January 1

·         Bay Area: January 8

Current available ICU capacity by region:

·         Bay Area: 12.9%

·         Greater Sacramento Region: 14.1%

·         Northern California: 28.1%

·         San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%

·         Southern California: 0.5%

See region map. Read the full Regional Stay Home Order, Supplement to the Order, and frequently asked questions.

Statewide COVID-19 Data as of Today:

  • California has 1,671,081 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
  • There were 53,711 newly recorded confirmed cases Tuesday. Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from prior to yesterday.
  • The 7-day positivity rate is 11.9% and the 14-day positivity rate is 11.0%.
  • There have been 28,149,590 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 304,524 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
  • As case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase. There have been 21,481 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

*Note: Today’s case counts include 38,374 cases reported today that are part of the surge we continue to see statewide. The remaining 15,337 cases are from previous days.

Vaccinate All 58
The COVID-19 shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in California, and additional shipments will continue to arrive throughout this week. The first doses are being administered to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The state is working closely with community partners and stakeholders to help ensure the vaccine is distributed and administered equitably across California. For more information, visit this CDPH webpage and Vaccinate All 58.

Testing Turnaround Time

The testing turnaround dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of November 29 to December 5, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 58 percent of patients received test results in 1 day and 87 percent received them within 2 days. The testing turnaround time dashboard is updated weekly. At this time, all four tiers in the Testing Prioritization Guidance have equal priority for testing.

Blueprint for a Safer Economy

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy is a statewide plan for reducing COVID-19 and keeping Californians healthy and safe. The plan imposes risk-based criteria on tightening and loosening COVID-19 allowable activities and expands the length of time between changes to assess how any movement affects the trajectory of the disease. Californians can go to covid19.ca.gov to find out where their county falls and what activities are allowable in each county.

Data and Tools
A wide range of data and analysis guides California’s response to COVID-19. The state is making the data and its analytical tools available to researchers, scientists and the public at covid19.ca.gov.

Popular links include:

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
Each week, the California Department of Public Health updates the number of cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported in the state. As of December 14, 152 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide. To protect patient confidentiality in counties with fewer than 11 cases, we are not providing total counts at this time.

MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening. Parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of MIS-C including fever that does not go away, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling tired. Contact your child’s doctor immediately if your child has these symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of patients is critical to preventing long-term complications.

Racial Demographics – A More Complete Picture
The California Department of Public Health is committed to health equity and collecting more detailed racial and ethnic data that will provide additional understanding for determining future action. Health outcomes are affected by forces including structural racism, poverty and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African American Californians. Only by looking at the full picture can we understand how to ensure the best outcomes for all Californians.

The differences in health outcomes related to COVID-19 are most stark in COVID-19 deaths. We have nearly complete data on race and ethnicity for COVID-19 deaths, and we are seeing the following trends: Latinos, African Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels. More males are dying from COVID-19 than females, in line with national trends. More information is available at COVID-19 Race and Ethnicity Data.

Health Care Worker Infection Rates
As of December 15, local health departments have reported 60,764 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 479 deaths statewide.

Your Actions Save Lives
California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet – faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic and this summer. If COVID-19 continues to spread at this rate, it could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes. Protect yourself, family, friends and community by following these prevention measures:

  • Staying home except for essential needs/activities and following local and state public health guidelines when visiting businesses that are open.
  • Following the Limited Stay Home Order that requires all non-essential work and activities to stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier. The order took effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, November 21, and will remain in effect until 5 a.m. December 21.
  • Staying close to home, avoiding non-essential travel, and practicing self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.
  • Keeping gatherings small, short and outdoors and limiting them to those who live in your household.
  • Wearing a cloth face mask when out in public.
  • Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect. Contact tracers will connect you to free, confidential testing and other resources, if needed.
  • Following guidance from public health officials.

What to Do if You Think You’re Sick

Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (for example: fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. More than 100 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit covid19.ca.gov.

California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page.

www.cdph.ca.gov