COVID-19 death toll nears 17,000 in California

While the number of daily COVID-19 deaths has fallen dramatically in California in the past few months, the state's death toll has become the third-highest in the nation.

10/20/2020 2:55:00 AM

While the number of daily COVID-19 deaths has fallen dramatically in California in the past few months, the state’s death toll has become the third-highest in the nation.

While the number of daily COVID-19 deaths has fallen dramatically in California in the past few months, the state's death toll has become the third-highest in the nation.

by The Times.When adjusted for population, however, the state is in the middle of the pack nationally. Twenty-six other states have seen more COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents than California, includingNorth Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, Louisiana and Iowa.

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California averaged 57 daily deaths over the last week, a far cry from late July and early August, when the daily death toll at times exceeded 150.Advertisement40 millionMonday, California continues to lead the U.S. in case count, with more than 875,000.

But in a sign that the virus may have plateaued in the state, the seven-day average of new cases has dropped below 3,000, according to thelatest state data, and the positivity rate — the percentage of those tested who are found to be infected — has been at a relatively low 2.5% for the last two weeks. This is the first time the seven-day average has been less than 3,000 since mid-June, according to Times data.

Despite the somewhat promising data points, officials say there are concerning trends. One is the number of COVID-19 patients who are becoming sick enough to be hospitalized. While the raw number of hospitalizations continues to decline, the rate of decrease has slowed. Over the last 14 days, the state has seen a 4% decrease in hospitalizations — from 2,344 to 2,241 — and a 3% decline in intensive care admissions, from 681 to 660. But in the last week, both those figures have ticked up, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Each and every ICU admission is precious and, obviously, a point of real concern as it relates to quality care and timely care,” he said Monday. Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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