The delta variant continues to fuel COVID-19 cases across California and the nation, and areas are now seeing a level of daily infections higher than at any point during last summer’s surge.
The state on Friday recorded 14,402 new COVID-19 cases — its highest number of new daily new coronavirus infections since January. The number also tops the peak during last summer’s surge, which saw 12,614 new cases on August 14, 2020.
With California seeing the fastest increase in new virus cases since the start of the pandemic, state health officials on Thursday stepped up vaccination requirements for a broad swath of residents, issuing orders that require all health care workers to be vaccinated by the end of September.
The order also requires hospitals to verify that visitors are vaccinated or make them show proof of a recent negative test.
Meanwhile, more children are catching COVID, with some ending up in hospitals, due to the more contagious delta variant, health officials say.
“We’re seeing an uptick not only in the number of COVID cases among children but also in the number of hospitalizations of children because the delta variant is much more transmissible,” said Dr. Richard Kang, medical director of Dignity Health Northridge’s pediatric intensive care unit.”
Kang said the surge in pediatric infections worries doctors, especially on the cusp of flu season, when “we’ll see cases of the flu and other viruses such as RSV in children.”
On Friday, the L.A. County Department of Public Health reported 3,930 new infections and 17 new COVID-19 related deaths.
County health officials noted that the “high number of new cases reflects significant increases in screening testing at businesses and schools.”