California tops 600,000 COVID-19 cases, first in the country

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JULY 07: A COVID-19 testing associate dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) assists people waiting in line at a testing center at Lincoln Park amid the coronavirus pandemic on July 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. There has been a spike in new coronavirus cases in California along with an increase in the number of hospitalizations and positivity rate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — California has received the dubious honor of being the first state in the country to surpass 600,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Of the 603,000 cases, more than 11,000 people have died.

Nevertheless, California officials seem optimistic reporting that the surge of infections since the state reopened in May appears to be slowing down.

According to the Los Angeles Times, numbers show that in Los Angeles County, the “transmission” rate for the virus is now at about 0.86, last week it was 0.91. This number represents the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person. Anything above 1 means every infected person is infecting at least one other person. A transmission rate below 1 means the outbreak is shrinking.

The overall transmission rate in California is .96.

Also, people requiring hospital care is lower. At its peak, back in July, almost 7,000 people required hospitalization. Now it’s slightly more than 5,700.

Los Angeles County has had one-third of all cases in California, which is the most populous state in the country.

While California has the largest number of recorded infections, the number of deaths is still below that of New York, which has seen in excess of 30,000 fatalities.

When asked about the possibility of allowing students to return to the classroom at colleges and universities, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the rate of disease is still too high to allow in-person instruction.

“The very nature of the way that colleges and universities operate creates a significant risk of outbreaks of COVID-19,” Ferrer said.

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