COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in California after a massive winter surge sent the state back into some of the strictest lockdown orders of the pandemic. Meanwhile, almost 7 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state after one of the slowest starts in the nation.
On Friday, California counties reported 7,621 new cases of COVID-19, according to data tracked by this news organization, bringing the state’s seven-day average of new cases down to 7,081. That’s the lowest average since Nov. 12, at the beginning of the winter surge. The average daily new cases have declined 82 percent since the start of the year.
Los Angeles County, the largest and hardest-hit in the state, reported 2,432 new cases, followed by San Diego County with 812 and San Bernardino County with 517. They were followed by Sacramento, Riverside and Orange counties.
Statewide, the number of patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 declined on Thursday by 4.9 percent from the preceding day to 7,514. That’s down from a peak of almost 22,000 hospitalized patients in early January. The number of patients in intensive care unit beds with confirmed cases declined 5.7 percent on Thursday, to 2,207. There were nearly 5,000 ICU patients with COVID-19 in early January.
Those positive trends come as the number of Californians vaccinated continues to tick up. As of Thursday, 6,929,954 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, 78.5 percent of the doses delivered. Latino residents, who are 60 percent of cases and 39 percent of the population, have received 16 percent of the vaccine doses.
Despite improving overall numbers, deaths from COVID-19 remain high in the state. On Friday, 479 COVID-19 deaths were reported by California counties, bringing the state’s seven-day average to 340 daily deaths. Fatality trends tend to lag behind cases and hospitalizations, and deaths have been declining since a Jan. 27 peak of 566 average daily deaths. During the state’s summer surge, California peaked at a seven-day death average of 145.
Contributed by local news sources