State Officials Announce Latest COVID-19 Facts

First Case of United Kingdom Coronavirus Variant Detected in California

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been notified by San Diego County Public Health Services of a patient with the variant COVID-19 virus strain originally detected in the United Kingdom. This is the first identification of the United Kingdom variant strain, sometimes called strain B.1.1.7 or VOC 202012/01, in California. The affected individual has no known travel history. Information about possible sources of infection is still being collected.

Early data suggest that the United Kingdom variant strain may be more contagious but does not appear to be more severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 vaccines should provide immunity to this strain.

“The detection of the first case of this United Kingdom variant strain in California is concerning,” said CHHS Secretary Mark Ghaly. “As we learn more about how this patient contracted this strain, I want to stress the importance of continuing our mitigation efforts to prevent COVID-19 and this new strain. This includes masks, physical distance, and during this current surge in California, staying at home and not mixing outside households, and not traveling.”

Two other cases have been reported in Colorado. It is likely that additional cases will be identified in the United States and in California. However, you can protect yourself, your family and your community with these prevention measures:

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.
  • Stay home except for essential activities and follow state and local public health guidance.
  • Keep interactions to people who live in your household.
  • Avoid non-essential travel and stay close to home; self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work, school and other people if you feel ill.
  • Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
  • Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or local health department tries to connect.

Daily Statistics and Data

Today CDPH announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including data on intensive care unit (ICU) capacity across the state.

Based on ICU data, four regions, San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Greater Sacramento and the Bay Area continue under the Regional Stay at Home Order. Once a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%, the order will be lifted for that area. ICU projections are calculated daily.

Current Available ICU Capacity by Region

  • Bay Area: 7.5%
  • Greater Sacramento: 17.4%
  • Northern California: 31.5%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
  • Southern California: 0.0%

Current Status of Regional Stay at Home Order in Affected Regions

  • San Joaquin Valley: Remains under order because four-week ICU projections are less than 15%.
  • Southern California: Remains under order because four-week ICU projections are less than 15%.
  • Greater Sacramento: Will remain under the order until January 1 at the earliest with potential to extend depending on four-week ICU capacity projections.
  • Bay Area: Will remain under the order until January 8 at the earliest with potential to extend depending on four-week ICU capacity projections.

The ICU capacity projections are based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted. Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order.

Read the full Regional Stay Home OrderSupplement to the Order, and frequently asked questions.

Due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting the health care system, California is also under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay At Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.

Statewide COVID-19 Data as of Today

  • California has 2,218,142 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
  • There were 30,921 newly recorded confirmed cases Tuesday.
  • The 7-day positivity rate is 11.8% and the 14-day positivity rate is 12.2%.
  • There have been 32,623,076 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 248,605 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 24,958 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.