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California Hits COVID-19 Infection Record

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Sacramento, CA — California has become the first state to record more than 5 million known coronavirus infections.

That is according to Tuesday’s California Department of Public Health’s state dashboard that records the numbers. State health officials had anticipated there would be a surge in new infections as holiday parties and family gatherings were forced indoors by a series of winter storms. Currently, there are more than 75,500 deaths related to COVID-19 in the state, a daily average of 46 and 0.1 new deaths per 100,000.

The Midwest and Northeast are seeing the biggest jump in cases and hospitalizations with frigid temperatures keeping people indoors. In California, hospitalizations have been rising slowly, up about 12% in the last 7 days at 4747. That is less than half as many as during the late summer peak and one-fifth of a year ago before vaccines were widely available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists California with “high” transmission of the virus, consistent with most other states in the country, Texas at 4.4 million and Florida topping 3.9 million as of Sunday. The state has fared better overall in regards to the surge. In the last week, the state averaged 16.4 new cases per 100,000 people, less than a third of the national rate.

It is unclear how many of the newly reported cases were attributed to the omicron coronavirus variant. Scientists say omicron spreads even easier than other coronavirus strains, including delta, and it is expected to become dominant in the U.S. by early next year.