California coronavirus case count tops 600,000
California’s coronavirus case count topped 600,000 on Thursday, the first state to reach the grim milestone, according to data collected by The New York Times.
The Golden State also has the third highest death toll in the U.S. with 10,800 COVID-19 fatalities, behind New York and New Jersey, which were hit hard by the disease early on in the pandemic.
California is among the states that experienced surges in cases in July, along with Texas, Florida and Arizona.
As the most populous state in the U.S., California’s case and death count per capita ranks lower compared to other states, at 20th for the number of cases and 28th in fatalities, according to the Times data.
California recorded some of the earliest cases at the beginning of the pandemic, and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) was the first governor to enact a stay-at-home order, slowing down the spread.
When the state reopened, however, cases climbed and continued to break records for the highest single-day increases, prompting Newsom to later issue a mask mandate and shut down bars and indoor dining again.
Now, California has a seven-day average of 8,903 new cases per day, less than in mid-July.
Newsom expressed optimism this week, pointing to a statistic that California coronavirus hospitalizations fell by 19 percent in two weeks.
The news comes after the state experienced difficulties with its coronavirus reporting system at the end of July that left out about 300,000 files from the state’s database, but officials say the issue has been solved. The officials say there are higher numbers being counted this week due to the delay in reporting some cases.
The state’s top public health expert quit suddenly last weekend after the data glitches.
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