California’s death count from the coronavirus has surpassed 15,000 even as the state sees widespread improvement in infection levels.
A tally by Johns Hopkins University put California’s death toll at 15,027 on Sunday, the fourth-highest in the country. New York has suffered by far the most deaths -- 33,087 -- followed by New Jersey, which has about half as many. Texas is third.
California has had the most confirmed virus cases in the country with about 775,000, but key indicators have fallen dramatically since a spike that started after Memorial Day weekend prompted statewide shutdowns of businesses.
The state’s infection rate has fallen to 3% in the last week, the lowest level since the first days of the pandemic. Hospitalizations have dropped below 2,700, the lowest since early April, and the number of patients in the intensive care unit has dropped below 850.
With figures falling, California last month instituted a new four-tier system for counties to reopen more businesses and activities. Most counties remain in the most restrictive level but some could move to a lower level when the state updates the ratings on Tuesday.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.