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Flattening The Curve: Experts Say California Is Doing Better Than Projected

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A few weeks ago, the projected coronavirus death and hospitalization rates were grim, but experts say California is doing better than projected and coming in below the numbers medical experts predicted.

California is doing what it's supposed to be doing — staying at home — and now the state is getting a nod from the White House.

The stay-at-home order issued by the Governor's office on March 19 that forced businesses to close and most people to stay home is working, or at least not making things worse.

"Right now the California Department of Public health reports 10,000 cases since early March and 237 deaths and it looks like the numbers of new cases right now is actually pretty steady," Dr. Jeffery Klausner, UCLA Professor of Medicine and Public Health, said.

We're slowly flattening the curve.

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"Some people predicted that they would be epidemic spread in major cities. And in the absence of epidemic spread, some people are saying 'well it must mean they stay at home orders are working,"' Klausner said.

State health officials explained what the need for resources could have looked like had the stay-at-home not been issued.

"If you see unmitigated, we would need over 700,000 hospital beds at peak," California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said.

But weeks after a mass effort to social distance, the numbers are lower and as of now, there are enough beds, though some models predict that the situation is still dire.

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According to the University of Washington, California's peak is expected to come on April 26, when deaths per day are supposed to reach 119. That model also shows the number of deaths per day not going down until May 1.

While the state's doing well to mitigate the spread, that doesn't mean normal life can resume just yet. Experts say these numbers could change in an instant.

"We need to keep an eye on these very closely to make sure that we continue to track to the model," Ghaly said.

While the numbers are encouraging, state health officials are urging people not to become complacent. You still need to stay inside and comply with shelter in place orders to prevent the curve from rising once again.

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