Thanksgiving leads to sharp increase in COVID testing

By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

The rush to be tested before Thanksgiving appears to be a factor in California's highest-ever single-day report of new COVID-19 cases.

That tally passed 20,000 for the first time as cases continue to surge across the country, but it also came after testing sites saw unprecedented activity.

The state has seen several days recently where well over 200,000 tests were administered. For the last few months, 150,000 tests in a single day would be considered a big number.

All that testing does appear to be uncovering more cases, but it's also finding more negative results and seems to be pushing down the positivity rate. By Tuesday morning, the seven-day positivity rate dropped a few tenths of a percent to 5.8%.

The pattern is repeating itself in several Bay Area counties. Alameda County’s seven-day positivity rate has dropped from the fall peak of 2.3% just two weeks ago to 1.5%.

Hospitalizations continue to increase, suggesting that despite the declining positivity rate, the overall number of cases is going up. San Francisco and Santa Clara County each have nearly twice as many people hospitalized with COVID as they did two weeks ago.

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