COVID-19: A slower rate in the increase of positive cases

Health officials in the California opened Christmas week with a mixed bag of news: The average number of new COVID-19 cases in the state continued to creep up, but the rate of increase has slowed.
The state’s seven-day average of new cases slightly increased to 41,888 in Sunday’s reporting, up from 41,475 on Saturday, according to figures compiled by this news organization. In the four previous days, the average seven-day total of new cases was on a sharp upward climb, from around 32,000 to 41,000.
Counties recorded 27,482 new cases on Sunday, but many counties did not post an update, including San Mateo, Monterey, Tulare, Ventura, San Joaquin, Fresno, Sacramento, Riverside or San Bernardino counties.
The number of new cases fell in Alameda and San Francisco counties, and decreased in Los Angeles County for the third time time in four days. The virus has been most widespread there, with 13,298 cases and 8,875 deaths during the pandemic.
The news comes on the heels of record-high cases in some California counties during the previous week, even as vaccines for the virus were being rolled out for the first time.
In the Bay Area, 226,581 people have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic started, and the five Bay Area counties reporting — Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma — added 3,362 cases to the ledger on Sunday.
The state reported 82 new deaths reported Sunday, a plummet from the record high of 428 reported on Dec. 16 and significantly fewer than the 279 recorded Friday. Overall, 22,674 people have died in the state, including 2,339 in the 10 Bay Area counties.
The Bay Area added two more deaths to its ledger on Sunday, both in Alameda County. The county’s 587 deaths overall are four more than have been recorded in Santa Clara County.
Alameda County health officials could take heart in it’s dramatic fall in positive cases. On Saturday, the county recorded 1,767 new cases, its highest one-day figure. On Sunday, the county added 626 new cases, a fall of 65%.
Santa Clara County’s number of new cases also went from 1,020 on Saturday to 1,429 on Sunday, but it’s seven-day average fell to 1,188 to 1,274. The county has recorded 56,334 cases overall, the most in the Bay Area.
Contra Costa County added 702 new cases and closed in on the 35,000 figure for the pandemic. With 34,918 cases, the county trails only Santa Clara and Alameda counties in the Bay Area.
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San Francisco and Sonoma counties added 303 and 302 new cases, respectively, on Sunday, the latter of which put Sonoma County over 1,500 cases (1,508) for the pandemic.
San Mateo County did not report any new figures on Sunday; that county often includes its Sunday totals with its Monday count.

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