Story at a glance
- California is currently leading the U.S. in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- Some sectors are beginning to reopen, causing officials to worry over the forthcoming influenza season.
California has surpassed 800,000 total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The state passed the milestone on Thursday, making California the state with the largest volume of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Earlier this week, California also topped 15,000 coronavirus-related fatalities.
As the U.S. hovers around 7 million confirmed cases, Los Angeles County leads the country in the number of confirmed cases and leads the state as well, with 264,414 reported cases. Trailing Los Angeles County are Riverside, Imperial, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego and Kern counties.
The rate of COVID-19 infection in California has decreased from its peak earlier this summer, though officials say the number of cases remain at a high level. The projected transmission rate has moved past 1 percent to 1.02 percent. The current 14-day average testing positivity rate stands at 12.9 percent.
The large-scale declines have allowed more economic sectors and social spaces in California to slowly reopen. Locations like nail salons and schools in select districts are permitted to benign reopening.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) recently said that the upcoming weeks will be critical if the sprawling Southern California city wants to continue reopening.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW
“The bottom line: This virus is still here, and it’s still very dangerous,” Garcetti said, according to the Times.
Los Angeles County remains in Tier 1 in the state’s phased reopening, which means most businesses and social spaces are closed.
Nationwide, the U.S. is preparing for what experts predict will be a challenging fall and winter. Outbreaks of both seasonal influenza and COVID-19 threaten to overwhelm the country’s health care apparatus.
Currently, California hospitals are treating 2,474 coronavirus patients — down 4 percent from the previous day.
To keep these figures on the decline, health officials encourage everyone, especially vulnerable populations, to get a flu vaccination as COVID-19 is still transmitted through communities, despite relatively low infection rates compared to California’s previous experience.
“We are still very vulnerable with so many things coming as we enter winter,” California Secretary of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly said during a conference with government officials.
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