Tuesday, January 31, 2023

California overtakes New York as epicenter of U.S. Covid crisis

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California has overtaken New York as the U.S. state with the most coronavirus deaths during the pandemic, reflecting the impact of an increase in cases and hospitalizations lasting several months.

The California Department of Health on Saturday attributed an additional 669 deaths to the coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in the most populous US state to 32,960. The total death toll in New York has reached 32,725 after 157 more deaths reported in the past day, according to state data.

New York was the highest ranked state in coronavirus deaths since late March, having recorded most of its deaths early in the pandemic when the northeastern states were most affected. California, however, has seen the worst of its crisis in the past two months. The situation has become particularly terrible in Los Angeles, which on Saturday became the first county in the United States to surpass more than one million cases since the start of the pandemic.

After a record increase in cases and hospitalizations that drained emergency and medical resources, California has recorded 6,989 coronavirus deaths so far in January, eclipsing the 6,760 in December which made it its deadliest month of the pandemic.

The United States has confirmed 383,130 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the most recent data from the Covid Tracking Project on Friday. Given the average of around 3,300 deaths per day over the past week, President-elect Joe Biden is expected to inherit control of the response to a pandemic that will have claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Americans by the time of his inauguration on January 20.

On Friday, Biden pledged to vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his tenure. The president-elect said he would mobilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create more vaccination sites, invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine supplies and train new workers to administer the injections in the framework of a five-point plan to achieve its goal. .

Of the 31.1 million doses of vaccine that have been distributed in the United States, about 10.6 million Americans have received at least one vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Efforts to accelerate Deployment of the vaccine across the United States could be complicated by different state approaches and impending supply bottlenecks, according to health experts. New York’s leaders have focused on these issues in recent days. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned the city “will run out of vaccine at some point next week unless we receive a major new resupply,” while Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday. that the state dose allocation by the federal government would drop. at 250.00 next week versus 300,000 previously.

The race to immunize more Americans and contain the pandemic also faces another potential challenge from the new variant of the coronavirus discovered in the UK, which the CDC predicts could become the dominant strain in the United States by March. At least 80 cases of the most infectious strain have been confirmed in more than a dozen states. Public health officials in Los Angeles on Saturday confirmed the first case of the variant in the county.

Coronavirus deaths tend to delay the increase in cases and hospitalizations, and there may be some silver lining to these. The number of people in U.S. hospitals with coronavirus fell to a 12-day low of 127,235 according to Friday’s data from the Covid Tracking Project, and is down 4% from the record high earlier this month.

California reported an additional 40,622 cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic to more than 2.9 million for the first time and more than any other state. New York added nearly 16,000 infections to bring its total to 1.22m, which ranks fourth in the United States after California, Texas and Florida.

Adjusted for population, California’s death toll equates to about 83 deaths per 100,000 population, which is among the 15 lowest in states, according to a Financial Times analysis of data from the Covid Tracking Project. That’s less than half of New York’s rate of about 168 deaths per 100,000 population, the ninth highest in the United States.

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