California on Thursday became the second state—behind Texas—to pass a million known COVID-19 cases, while the US has surpassed 10 million infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The nation's most populous state, with 40 million residents, ranks 39th nationwide in the number of cases per 100,000 residents. The virus has killed more than 18,000 in the state. The timeline of COVID-19 in America often comes back to California, the AP reports. 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 US. That same month, California recorded the first US case not related to travel and the first infection spread within the community.
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, 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 had to reimpose limits. Earlier this week, Texas became the first state to pass a million confirmed cases. The Washington Post reports that the US set a new record for cases yet again on Wednesday, with at least 153,000 new infections reported nationwide.
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