Coronavirus: More improvement in California as deadly winter wave recedes

Peninsula Premier Admin

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in California all continued to descend Monday, according to data compiled by The Mercury News, as the state’s deadly winter wave keeps receding.

With 16,415 new cases on Monday, California is now averaging the fewest cases per day over the past week since before Thanksgiving, and after another net day-to-day decrease of more than 300 patients, hospitals are treating 10,000 fewer COVID-positive patients than they were at this time last month.

There were, however, another 346 fatalities reported around the state — almost a hundred more than any day before mid-December — but California’s average daily death toll over the past week continued to decrease, to about 449 per day.

Compared to two weeks ago, all three metrics are down.

Cases have fallen 55% in the past two weeks and more than 70% from their peak almost a month ago.

Hospitalizations, which tend to lag cases by a week or two, have fallen 35% in the past two weeks and almost 50% from their peak.

Deaths, which are considered the final lagging indicator, have now also begun to decline, down 17% in the past two weeks and 20% from their peak.

However, all three metrics also remain higher than any time prior to the winter wave, even at the height of its summer surge. Compared to its previous peak last summer, California is still averaging 28% more cases; 59% more Californians are still hospitalized; and the state is still reporting triple the fatalities it was at its previous peak.

Before this winter, California had reported more than 1,000 deaths over only a single seven-day period. Now, even down 20%, more than 3,100 Californians have perished in the past week, and the state consistently tallies a thousand fatalities in two days, rarely more than three.

On Monday, 28 of the state’s 58 counties added to their death tolls, fueled primarily by locales in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. The Bay Area contributed 14 of the 346 fatalities around the state, just 4% of the statewide total. Over the past week, the region has accounted for about one in every nine deaths in California, despite about one in every five Californians residing in the region.

With 2,500 combined cases Monday, more than 400,000 Bay Area residents have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 219 fatalities across Southern California — a lesser proportion of the statewide death toll than the region has accounted for in the past week but still higher than its share of the population — including six of the nine counties with double-digit death tolls. Los Angeles led all counties with 91 lives lost to COVID-19, followed by 57 in Riverside. Orange, San Bernardino, Ventura and Imperial counties all also tallied more than 10 fatalities.

San Joaquin County posted its second-highest death toll of the pandemic, with 30 fatalities reported on Monday, the same as its regional neighbor, much larger Fresno County, to the south. Just north, Sacramento County rounded out the double-digit death tolls in the state Monday with 16, its fifth straight Monday with fewer fatalities than the last.

As its death toll reached 44,483, California inched closer to New York for the most coronavirus casualties of any state and is now within 100 of the top spot on the morbid leaderboard. Almost a million more Californians have contracted COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic than residents of any other state: over 3.4 million in total, or more than one in every 12. Approximately one in every 900 Californians has died from the coronavirus, lower than the national rate of about one in every 700 Americans, but the rate of infection among Californians over the course of the pandemic is slightly higher than the national rate.

The Bay Area, however, has fared better than other parts of California. The virus has killed approximately one in every 1,700 residents of the region, and about one in every 20 has been infected. In Los Angeles County, more than one in every nine residents has contracted COVID-19 and about one in every 500 has died from the virus.

Contributed by local news sources

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