COVID-19 cases in California continue to show downward trend


The downward trend for new COVID-19 cases continued this weekend as Californians look for hopeful signs that their hard-hit state is on the road to recovery from the worst health crisis in a century.

On Saturday, California counties reported 24,111 new COVID-19 cases, according to data analyzed by this news organization. The number represents 620 cases fewer than the previous day after California experienced record numbers in a post-holiday surge.

The seven-day average decreased from 29,122 new daily cases to 27, 405 cases — the lowest average since Dec. 11.

California has seen 3.1 million novel coronavirus cases since the pandemic began one year ago. After early success in controlling the disease, the Golden State experienced one of the country’s biggest surges starting in November.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 also has declined again — on Thursday it dipped below 19,000 for the first time since Christmas Day. Hospitals saw 552 fewer patients than Wednesday’s total of 19,537.

The number of patients in intensive care unit beds with confirmed cases of COVID-19 also declined slightly on Thursday to 4,527, 89 fewer than Wednesday’s total.

On Oct. 20, before the winter surge, the state had 2,348 patients hospitalized and 660 in ICU beds with COVID-19.

The daily total of 458 fatalities was the first time since Jan. 18 the figure fell below 500 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, 36,793 Californians have died from COVID-19.

The positive case numbers come amid questions about California’s rollout of vaccinations for the coronavirus. As of Friday, California has administered 2,191,111 doses of the vaccine, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. State officials said that as of Saturday a total of 4,135,625 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local officials and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed, state officials said.

California has the slowest rollout of the vaccine in the United States, according to a Bloomberg analysis of doses delivered to each state.

In the Bay Area, Contra Costa County reported the most new cases in the region Saturday with 276 cases and three deaths. Alameda County had 114 new cases and 31 deaths. The East Bay county saw 54 deaths on Thursday and 13 on Friday. Alameda has reported 886 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the data.

San Francisco city and county reported 111 new cases and three deaths while Sonoma County had 190 new cases and no deaths, the data showed.


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