State Watch

California exceeds 10,000 coronavirus deaths

California surpassed 10,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus Thursday, part of an ongoing surge in a state once seen as largely spared from the worst of the pandemic.

The Golden State’s surge has been blamed on a variety of factors, including low-wage workers returning to workplaces with inadequate safeguards, as well as public summer gatherings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The state had logged 540,339 cases and 10,006 deaths as of Thursday evening. The state has more cases than any other, but still only a fraction of New York’s 32,000 deaths.

The plurality of the state’s deaths have come from Los Angeles County, which accounts for 4,869 of the fatalities. The county passed 200,000 cases overall Thursday, according to the newspaper.

Agricultural regions of the state also continue to struggle, according to the newspaper, and the San Joaquin Valley, which contains eight counties, has seen a 500 percent increase in hospitalizations in the past two months.

Despite the surging cases, a Monday analysis by the Times indicates the state saw its first weekly drop in new cases in 12 weeks, reporting 9 percent fewer cases in the seven-day period ending Sunday than the previous seven days.

However, logistical problems with electronic data collection have raised the possibility that some of the cases may be undercounted. In some cases, health officials have been forced to count results by hand. Several counties have warned state statistics on infection rates may not reflect the reality on the ground.

These data processing issues, however, have not affected the collection of hospitalization data, which also indicates slow improvements, according to the Times. About two weeks ago, the state saw its highest daily average of hospitalizations, with 6,969 people. Last week, the average fell to 6,632, the first time in 10 weeks the daily average hospitalizations have fallen, according to the Times.

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