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COVID Surge: California Hits Grim Milestone Of 1 Millionth Coronavirus Case

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) -- California on Thursday afternoon became just the second state in the U.S. after Texas to log its one-millionth case of COVID-19.

Figures released by the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins confirmed the state arriving at that grim milestone.

California's caseload represents about nine percent of all U.S. Infections, but the state also makes up about 12 percent of the country's population.

The U.S. has already surpassed 10 million infections.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted the latest about the state's rising COVID-19 numbers Thursday, though he made no mention of hitting one million cases.

"We absolutely must take these increases seriously," Newsom said after noting that the state's daily case average now stood at 6,719 with both hospitalizations and ICU rates on the rise.

The timeline of COVID-19 in America often comes back to California. It had some of the earliest known cases among travelers from China, where the outbreak began. The Feb. 6 death of a San Jose woman is the first known coronavirus fatality in the U.S. That same month, California recorded the first U.S. case not related to travel and the first infection spread within the community involving a woman in Solano County.

By the middle of March, Santa Clara County became one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to ban all events with 1,000 people or more. On March 17, a shelter-in-place order went into effect in several Bay Area counties.

Two days later, on March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the nation's first statewide stay-at-home order, shuttering businesses and schools to try to prevent hospital overcrowding.

The spread slowed, but California faced the same challenges as other states: providing enough protective gear for health workers, doing enough testing and providing timely results, and tracking infections and those potentially exposed.

As the state tried to balance public health and the economy, cases rose as it relaxed business restrictions. Eleven counties this week, including Contra Costa and Santa Cruz, had to reimpose limits. San Francisco, Marin and Alameda counties have also paused reopenings or recommended increased restrictions on indoor businesses and activities in the hopes of staving off further spread.


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