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California surpasses 10,000 coronavirus deaths

Model projects 300,000 U.S. virus deaths by December
Model projects 300,000 U.S. virus deaths by D... 04:22

California on Friday surpassed 10,000 coronavirus deaths, a grim milestone that puts the state third for the most deaths in the country, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. There are more than 540,000 confirmed cases in the state.

The only states with more fatalities are New York, with over 32,700 deaths, and New Jersey, with over 15,800. 

Worldwide, over 716,400 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. accounts for about a quarter of the world's deaths, with 160,700 people succumbing to the virus.

California became the first U.S. state to hit half a million cases on August 1, and over 8,000 new cases were reported on Thursday, according to the state's department of health.

The health department warns that "as case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase."

In early February, America's first known COVID-19 death occurred in California's San Francisco Bay Area. The two individuals died at home in early and mid-February, before testing was made widely available.

"Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time-restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms," the Santa Clara County coroner said at the time.

Despite appearing to hit Northern California first, the virus has now taken hold in Southern California. A majority of cases have been reported in the region, and nearly half of all virus deaths in the state are in Los Angeles County, where over 4,800 people have died, CBS Los Angeles reported. 

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A graphic from California's August 7 COVID-19 update showing a representation of positive cases by county.  California Department of Public Health

According to the health department, the distribution of cases "reveals significant disparities within California's overall racial and ethnic demographics."

Latino and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander groups make up a disproportionate amount of cases relative to their population in the state, according to the health department. And, a disproportionate amount of those groups, as well as Black Californians, have died from the disease compared with their population size in the state.

"Structural racism, poverty and the increased likelihood of having underlying conditions, such as heart disease and lung disease, are likely to contribute to this disparity," the health department wrote.

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