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COVID cases are rising in California

COVID infections and hospitalizations have increased in the past week, ahead of the holidays. 

The state is experiencing a positive test rate of 7.1 per 100,000 individuals. The daily average is just over 2,800 cases.

Hospitalizations have also increased. There are more than 1,800 Californians hospitalized with COVID. That includes 225 who have been admitted to the ICU.

The positive test rate is higher in the Inland Empire. San Bernardino County has an average rate of 52.57 positive cases per 100,000. Riverside is a little lower with 50.23 positive cases per 100,000.  

The increase in COVID case numbers comes after the California Department of Public Health announced major changes to its guidance on isolation and quarantine for COVID. 

New guidance includes an update to the definition of a close contact to provide more clarity. The period that a previously-infected person does not need to test was also shortened from 90 to 30 days. 

In October, Governor Gavin Newsom also announced that California will end its Covid State of Emergency in February of next year. 

Still, the California Department of Public Health has warned Californians of an early winter virus season and continues to recommend masking and vaccinations against COVID and the flu.