Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed Thursday that California surpassed the grim milestone. It comes nearly 10 months after the first cases were confirmed in the most populous state.
Almost a third of California’s cases are in Los Angeles County, the most populous. The state has had more than 18,000 fatalities from the virus, behind only New York and Texas.
California was the first in the nation to implement a statewide stay-at-home order on its nearly 40 million residents in March.
After spiking in the summer, the rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California declined markedly into the fall but now is surging again, like much of the nation. This week, 11 counties had rates high enough that state restrictions were reimposed on certain businesses and activities.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said almost no part of the country is being spared in the surge of COVID-19. Cases are increasing in 94% of U.S. jurisdictions, and the death rate in non-metro areas is more than double that in urban areas, according to the CDC.
The fatality rate of infected people in the U.S. has declined 30% since April due to improved treatment, a study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found. Nevertheless, the researchers forecast total U.S. deaths will reach 439,000 by March next year.
Successful treatment ahead could become more difficult as hospitalizations rise. Eleven states are expected to have “extreme stress” on general hospital beds in December through February.
Information from The Associated Press and Bloomberg were used in this report.
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