Peter Wells in New York
California reported fewer than 5,000 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday for the first time since early November, a sign that the state is bringing the most recent wave of the pandemic under control.
The health department revealed a further 4,090 infections, down from 5,692 on Tuesday, marking the smallest one-day increase in cases since Nov. 3.
While the latest figures may reflect delays in reporting after the long weekend, the less than 5,000 milestone underscores a change in fortunes compared to the worst pandemic in California from mid-December to mid-January, when the most populous state in the U.S. occasions reported a daily increase of more than 50,000 cases.
Other closely watched statistics are also heading in encouraging directions. The 14-day positivity rate, at 4.1 percent, is the lowest since mid-November and is lower than a recent high of 14 percent in early January.
Hospital admissions were below 9,000 for the first time since late November at 8,855, while the number of available intensive care beds in the state was at its highest in just over two months.
Deaths, usually lagging behind cases and hospitalizations, still remain relatively high. Authorities attributed a further 400 fatalities to the coronavirus, up from 64 in seven weeks on Tuesday.
According to the health department, the state has administered 6.4 million coronavirus vaccines. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Feb. 16 puts the total at 6.2 million, or 15,719 doses per 100,000 people, making it one of the 20 U.S. states with the lowest per capita vaccination rates.