California Becomes First State to Pass 600K COVID19 Cases

As the coronavirus epidemic continues to rage across the United States, with over 5.2 million cases and more than 200,000 deaths, California has become the first state to hit a staggeringly sad milestone. The state has now reported over 600,000 cases of the deadly virus, with 11,000 recorded deaths.

Governor Gavin Newsom had acted early by mandating masks and stay at home orders, but then loosened them over the summer months. Those looser restrictions have led to major outbreaks in the southern part of the state, leading Newsom to reclose many of the establishments that had reopened.

Despite the staggering numbers, Newsom said he was encouraged to see that hospitalizations have declined 20% over the past two weeks and admissions to ICU wards were down 14% in the same period. “The number that really matters to us is that positivity rate,” Newsom said when asked about the 600,000 case-milestone at a news conference on Friday. “The positivity rate – the number of confirmed infections as a percentage of tests done – has declined from 7% to 6% statewide over the past 14 days,” Newsom said.

One source for the newer outbreaks: prisons. San Luis Obispo County reported 115 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with 79 of those new cases at the California Men’s Colony. A total of 221 inmates at the prison have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; 208 of those cases were reported in the past 14 days. A similar outbreak occurred when inmates from another facility overrun by the virus were transferred to San Quentin.

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