State Watch

California becomes first state to record 2 million coronavirus cases

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California surpassed 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, the first state to cross that grim threshold, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The university’s tally showed California’s total cases at 2,002,494, with more than 23,000 people dead from the virus. More than 18,000 in California are hospitalized with the virus, and ICUs in the southern part of the state have been filled to capacity since last week.

Only Texas and New York have surpassed the nation’s most-populous state in coronavirus fatalities. California has activated its “mass fatality” program and ordered 5,000 body bags.

“We’re near the end, but we’re in the middle of the most acute peak as it relates to what we refer to as the third wave,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said last week.

On Wednesday, Newsom tweeted that statewide ICU capacity is down to approximately 1 percent, and that hospitalizations have spiked 61 percent. However, he noted that seven-day positivity averages were down slightly to 12.6 percent.

“Don’t take your health for granted. Wear a mask. Stay home. Be safe,” Newsom tweeted.

Newsom himself announced this week that he would enter quarantine for the second time after a staffer in his office tested positive for the virus. The governor, who tested negative, previously isolated after a classmate of one of his children tested positive.

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