SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — Following a pattern across the state, San Mateo County officials announced Thursday 75 new confirmed coronavirus cases among county residents.

On a positive note, health officials said the county’s death toll remained at 10 with six of those victims being local residents 80 years old and older. It was the county’s second largest single day increase since the outbreak began in January and raised San Mateo’s overall number to 453 confirmed cases.

The soaring numbers were as much a result of many new testing sites as it was about the spread within the county. State leaders and health officials say they are now increasingly focused on a different metric. They are using the number of people arriving at the hospital.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom opened his news conference updating the number of COVID-19 patients being cared for in ICU units across the state. He said 774 people in California were in ICU beds — an increase of 16.4 percent from Tuesday.

“Why do I start with the number 774? Because that’s the number that I wake up to that I’m most focused on in the state of California,” Newsom said.

He added that just over 40 percent of the patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 to date in the state have needed to be transferred into ICUs.

“Those numbers represent our most urgent need in terms of keeping people alive and keeping people healthy and safe in the state of California,” Newsom said. “It is incumbent that we prepare for a surge in the number of hospitalizations and the number of ICU patients.”

Newsom said the number of patients in ICU beds represents a ‘roughly a quadrupling’ compared to the data the state compiled six days ago. The governor also said the number of patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 — 1,855 as of Wednesday — has tripled in the last six days.

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