Wednesday, December 8, 2021

5 million coronavirus cases in California

California has reported 5 million coronavirus cases, a staggering total that underscores the prevalence of the pandemic during its nearly two-year rampage across the state.

This milestone comes at a somewhat promising, albeit precarious, time for the COVID-19 outbreak. The daily number of newly registered infections and hospitalizations with the disease has declined in recent weeks, a welcome trend entering the midst of the fall / winter holiday season.

But officials have long since skirted this winter on their warning calendar, warning that the combination of vacation travel, colder weather and more indoor gatherings could threaten to fuel a still-potent pandemic.

“I am aware of the fear that many of us have now as we enter winter, as we enter the season, when – if the past is the prologue – we should expect more cases, more hospitalizations, more people in intensive care units. and, unfortunately, the likelihood, if we do not take this moment seriously, will lead to an increase in the number of people who die, ”Governor Gavin Newsom said this week.

As of Thursday morning, California has 5,001,249 coronavirus cases, according to state data compiled by The Times.

This total includes nearly 253,000 “probable” cases — those that have been identified with an antigen test but have not yet been confirmed by more time-consuming and accurate PCR screening.

However, the total means that 5 million Californians have tested positive for coronavirus at some point.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases in California, about 4.75 million, is the highest in the country, which is not surprising given that the Golden State is home to over 39 million people.

However, the population adjustment shows a different picture. California reported 12,775 coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the pandemic, the 10th lowest rate of any state, according to the Times.

By comparison, eight states — North Dakota, Alaska, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Florida — have recorded rates in excess of 18,000 cumulative cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The rate of growth in the number of cases in California accelerated markedly during the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Delta, which erupted in the summer.

California hit 3 million cases in mid-January. Nearly seven months later, in early August, there were 4 million cases in the state.

Adding another million confirmed and probable cases took only three and a half months.

But there are signs that the California pandemic has subsided a bit. The state has reported roughly 4,800 new cases of coronavirus per day over the past week, according to the Times, down nearly 22% from levels seen two weeks ago.

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The number of hospitalizations is also declining. The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized statewide on Wednesday was 3,409, down 28% since early October.

However, officials are using a cautious tone. Several other regions of the country have seen a sharp increase in coronavirus transmission lately – a potential warning sign as the weather changes and the holidays approach.

As Newsom said during a briefing on Tuesday: “This virus, this disease, cannot stand the winter. It is coming back into power and you see it all over the country. You see it in the Dakota. You see it in Colorado. You see it in New Hampshire, Vermont. You see it all over the world. “

Federal data highlights the challenges other states are currently facing.

California has reported 94.6 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, the ninth lowest rate of any state, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By comparison, six other states – Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wisconsin – have reported cases in the past week that were at least four times higher than California.

Health officials generally agree that California is unlikely to have a winter resurgence of the coronavirus on the scale of last year, in large part due to how many residents have been vaccinated. More than 70% of California residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

However, experience in other countries – even in highly vaccinated states such as New Hampshire and New Mexico – shows how quickly the coronavirus can recover.

This makes it even more important that unvaccinated residents get vaccinated and those eligible for booster do the same, officials said.

“As the governor said, and any Game of Thrones fan knows, winter is coming. Therefore, we must be ready, ”- said on Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We need to know where we are. I want to admit how complicated and confusing this point is. Lower temperatures and increased time spent indoors always make it easier for viruses, including COVID-19, to spread. ”

Times Staff Writer Sean Greene contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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