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California sees 69% jump in coronavirus cases in 2 days

Posted at 12:10 PM, Jun 24, 2020

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in California.

The state once again saw the highest jump in new COVID-19 cases in a day since the state starting tracking case numbers in mid-March.

California saw 7,149 new cases on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Wednesday news conference, 69% higher in two days. There were also a record number of tests conducted Tuesday: 96,000.

The previous record was Monday, when the California Department of Public Health said 5,019 new lab-confirmed novel coronavirus cases were reported.

It is important to point out the positive rate, the number of positive cases to tests taken, has also risen to 5.1% over a 14-day period. That positivity rate is even higher during a seven day period.

Hospitalizations have also grown 29% in a two week period. There has been an 18% increase in the number of patients in the ICU over that same period, according to Newsom.

Protests have played a factor, but the state is still gathering information on how much of an impact they have on the numbers.

In good news, the capacity levels available is significantly higher than several months ago. The state, Newsom said, is at 8% of capacity.

Newsom said a number of counties are struggling with the increase of cases. The governor applauded the work by public health officials, even as some experience death threats, continuing to do what is best on the local level.

Though Newsom warned if counties were to become too relaxed on reopening and don't work to correct rising cases that exceed self-attestation levels set by the state, those counties could face financial penalties in the form of state funding on a monthly basis. There is $2.5 billion in the state budget deal that is contingent upon counties meeting coronavirus benchmarks.

On Monday, Newsom also said if the state slides backward on the pandemic, it could lead to shutting down again. "We don't intend to do that, we don't want to do that, but I want to make this clear - we are prepared to do that if we must," Newsom said Monday. "Clearly we have the capacity, individual and collective capacity, not to have to go in that direction by just being a little bit more thoughtful about how we go about our day-to-day lives."

NBC-affiliate KCRA contributed to this story.