SACRAMENTO – During an update on the state's wildfire preparation, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced stark new coronavirus case numbers that were a strong indication that California is still very much in the midst of its struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In an address delivered from McClellan Air Force Base given while standing in front of one of the new Blackhawk helicopters the state plans to deploy in its firefighting efforts, Newsom announced 7,031 new cases in the past 24 hours, a seven-day average of 8,043 cases, and seven-day and 14-day positivity rates of 7.3 percent.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Newsom announced 7,031 new confirmed coronavirus cases in past 24 hours

  • The governor also cited a seven-day average of 8,043 days

  • While hospitalizations were slightly up from the previous day, ICU occupancy dropped incrementally

  • The governor emphasized the continued need to wear masks, practice social distancing and good hygiene

Newsom also announced an average of 73 deaths a day over the past week.

“The mortality rates are still front and center and should be in your consciousness,” Newsom said. “For those that think that now people are getting it and no one is dying, that is very misleading and in fact, it’s fundamentally untrue. California’s numbers are a testament to that point. How deadly and devastating this disease continues to be in the state of California."

In light of spiking case numbers, Newsom emphasized, "How incredibly essential and important it is that you wear a face mask, face coverings, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, practice the kind of hygiene and sanitation that hopefully by now, we’ve all been accustomed to since the beginning of this pandemic." 

The governor also announced that over the past 24 hours, the state had seen a slight rise in hospitalizations and an incremental decrease in ICU occupancy.

"Our hospitalization number went up modestly yesterday, .4 percent," Newsom said. "And our ICU number actually went down yesterday .1 percent." 

The governor also singled out the 26 particularly hard-hit counties across the state that are currently being monitored.

"We continue to do more providing technical assistance to the 26 counties on the monitoring list to make sure that their needs are met," Newsom said.

In Los Angeles County, which is among the counties on the state watch list, health officials Thursday announced 1,771 new confirmed cases bring the county’s total to 124,738 cases since the pandemic began. Current coronavirus hospitalizations in L.A. County rose to 2,037, up 33 since Wednesday.

Fifty additional deaths were also announced, bringing the total number of people to have died from the coronavirus in L.A. County to 3,692.