As the price went down, the short total went up. A reason for at least some of this is that "buying power" increased as the price went down, encouraging shorts to increase their positions. The GS "conviction sell" rating also encouraged short sellers. Short sellers are automatically margined, so once the price turns up the over extended shorts start to get margin calls. Even with huge volume days, it is unlikely that shorts would be buyers of more than 50%. Short covering could go on for another 2 weeks at least. While INTC is no Tesla for shorts, the numbers (5%) are still impressive.
The analysts target of 30 is easily doable by Xmas.