By Katie Nielsen

HAYWARD (KPIX) – Despite early action to curb the spread, new coronavirus cases are skyrocketing in California.

More than 5,600 new cases were reported on Sunday, a 7 percent increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19. Hospitalization rates have increased a record 50 percent.

The testing site at Cal State East Bay in Hayward can swab up to 500 people each day. On Monday after the holiday weekend, there were so many people waiting to get tested, they had to shut down the line at 11:30 a.m.

“It’s going to take 2-3 days for results, okay?” says one of the workers to the couple sitting in their car about to get tested.

For almost a mile, a line of cars snaked through the Cal State East Bay campus. Inside each vehicle were people waiting to get tested for COVID-19 after the Fourth of July weekend.

“We got here about 8:30, 8:20, so about 5-and-a-half hours. We’re hungry, have to go to the bathroom,” said San Leandro resident Debra Wild.

She says she doesn’t feel sick, but is worried she could have been exposed to COVID-19 through someone at her daughter’s work.

“People are just kind of getting out there and mingling and it’s spreading,” says Debra.

During a press conference Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom said the number of cases in the state is rising.

That’s expected with increased testing, but the bigger concern is the percentage of those tests that are coming back positive.

“We were at 4.9 percent positivity rate just 14 days ago, and now again it’s 6.8 percent,” said Governor Newsom.

That’s an almost 40 percent increase in just two weeks. ICU admission rates due to COVID-19 saw the same increase. Those numbers could continue to rise over the next few weeks due to more people being out and about over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

It’s an alarming trend for people like Ken Mitchell and his wife Debbie, who are in a high risk category.

“We want to get tested and make sure we’re okay and safe,” said Ken as he was waiting to get swabbed.

It takes three to four days after exposure to COVID-19 for someone to test positive, if they did contract the virus. Organizers suggest if someone is worried about possible exposure over the Fourth of July weekend, that person should quarantine at home for a couple of days and go to the testing site later in the week.

The drive-up testing site at Cal State East Bay does not require an appointment and is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or until they run out of tests for the day.

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