California experienced its first decrease in the number of daily ICU hospitalizations amid the coronavirus outbreak in the state. The Associated Press reports the number of ICU patients fell to 1,132 on Wednesday, down 1.9 percent from the previous day.
"I caution anybody to read too much into that," Newsom said on Thursday. "But nonetheless, it is encouraging. It reinforces the incredible work all of you are doing."
California is entering its fourth week under statewide stay-at-home orders. While state officials believe the virus will reach its peak around mid-May, the virus so far has spread at a slower rate than originally anticipated. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, whose estimates are closely followed by the White House, forecasts California will reach its peak in the upcoming week. The Institute recently revised its coronavirus deaths projections downward in the United States.
"The data is encouraging," Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer acknowledged on Thursday. "We know that all of the sacrifices, and they are huge sacrifices that everyone is making, is in fact slowing the spread. But slowing the spread is a consistent activity that we have to continue to do for many days to come."
A shortage of ventilators was expected as acute cases of the disease may cause severe respiratory problems. But Gov. Newsom said California hospitals now have more than 11,000 ventilators, two-thirds of which are not being used. The governor, who has been stockpiling ventilators for the state, sent 500 ventilators to other states earlier this week.