California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks.
California is one of several U.S. states that have reported surging numbers of new COVID-19 infections over the past week, raising questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump has handled the crisis and impeding state plans to lift lockdowns.
The 10,201 new cases reported on Tuesday took the total number of cases in California since the start of the pandemic to nearly 284,00. In June, California infections more than doubled with over 117,000 new cases.
The daily increase exceeds the 10,000 contact tracers Governor Gavin Newsom announced in mid-May, when case numbers were waning, as part of plans to reopen the state.
Newsom said then that more than 500 people had already been trained to work as “disease detectives”, using state databases to trace and advise people who had been in contact with confirmed cases.
However, instead of further reopening the state economy, Newsom last week rolled back those efforts, banning indoor restaurant dining in much of the state, closing bars and stepping up enforcement of social distancing. Indoor activities at restaurants, movie theaters, museums and other facilities were banned in 19 counties where 70% of the population lives for at least three weeks.
Only three other U.S. states have reported more than 10,000 cases in a day. Florida reported 11,458 new cases on July 4 and Texas reported 10,028 on Tuesday.
New York recorded 12,847 new infections on April 10, three weeks after the state implemented a strict lockdown that closed most businesses. Once the epicenter of the U.S. epidemic, New York saw cases rise by about 6% in June – the lowest rate in the entire country.