Coronavirus 'positivity rate' in California has declined, even with protests

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that California has not yet seen a major spike in positive coronavirus cases because of the George Floyd protests.

He also said that COVID-19 testing has gone up from about 2,000 tests a day to about 78,000 tests on Saturday.

And in that time, Newsom said the coronavirus "positivity rate" has declined from about 40 percent in mid-April to 4.5 percent today. A rate that is below 8 percent is considered a good one. 

The positivity rate is the number of people who tested positive for coronavirus divided by total number of tests administered.

That said, the number of coronavirus cases is going up, Newsom said, because there is more testing going on. 

The "state is holding strong," Newsom said. 

Hospitalization numbers have remained fairly stable, and intensive care unit stays have remained literally flat - an increase of .0 percent over the last two weeks. 

Despite the relatively optimistic news, Newsom said "we're not out of the woods." 

He reminded people about what happened during the 1918 Spanish flu when it was actually the second wave of the disease that killed more people because society thought the pandemic was over, and it wasn't.

"Wear your masks," Newsom said. "Be smart. Physically distance. Continue to wash your hands." 

In addition, both the governor and Dr. Mark Ghaly, head of the state's Health and Human Service Agency, noted that Blacks and Latinos are disproportionately affected by the virus, and that more testing should be done and better care should be administered. 

To date, California has conducted just about 2.9 million tests, and has seen more than 151,000 positive coronavirus cases and more than 5,000 deaths. 

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.