SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — Health officials revealed early Wednesday that California’s confirmed coronavirus cases have topped 409,000, surpassing New York for most in the nation, but the state still trails the Empire State in deaths associated with the virus.
According to John’s Hopkins University tracking data, California now has about 1,200 more cases than New York. State health officials said over the last seven days, California has been averaging 9,198 new cases a day.READ MORE: San Jose Police Investigate Officer-Involved Shooting With Carjacking Suspect
However, New York’s 72,302 deaths are by far the highest total in the country and nine times more than California’s tally, and its rate of confirmed infections of about 2,100 per 100,000 people is twice California’s rate.
California is by far the most populous U.S. state, at nearly 40 million people, while New York has about 19.5 million.
State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday that while California is still in the throes of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, state officials are proud of the state’s collective action so far.
Ghaly waved away the fact that California is expected to pass New York soon as the state with the most cases in the country, arguing that California’s large geographical footprint is more to blame for that status than anything else.READ MORE: UPDATE: Marin Water Board Lifts Some Water Restrictions, Penalties Following Early Season Storms
“At the end, I really expect and hope that California is going to be the state that adapted the most, learned the most, prepared the best and that we are going to really reduce [the coronavirus’] impact,” Ghaly said.
Ghaly cited the state’s first-in-the-nation shelter-in-place order in March and the time it bought state and local public health officials at the beginning of the pandemic as bright spots in the state’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
The state’s prescient action, Ghaly said, allowed the state to learn more about how the virus acts and stockpile both personal protective equipment like surgical masks and gloves and hospital bed capacity at hospitals across California.
“We’re in this for the long run—not just the first few months but we’re in it ‘til the end,” Ghaly said. “(Gov. Gavin Newsom) often says ‘let’s not just run the 90-yard dash, we have to get all 100 yards and we are committed to that.”
U.S. government data published Tuesday found that reported and confirmed coronavirus cases vastly underestimate the true number of infections, echoing results from a smaller study last month. The United States also has had consistent testing failures that experts say contribute to an undercount of the actual virus rate.MORE NEWS: San Mateo Police Investigate Shooting in Hillsdale Mall Parking Lot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says true COVID-19 rates were more than 10 times higher than reported cases in most U.S. regions from late March to early May. It is based on COVID-19 antibody tests performed on routine blood samples in 16,000 people in 10 U.S. regions.