California has become the first US state to confirm 50,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic, after reporting a record increase of more than 1,000 deaths in one day.
Another 1,114 deaths were attributed to the coronavirus, the state health department revealed Thursday.
The record increase in one day was due to a countdown of the number of fatalities in hard-hit Los Angeles, where officials said extensive death registry checks had identified 806 coronavirus-related deaths that were not initially recorded as such. “The majority of these deaths occurred during the wave between December 3, 2020 and February 3, 2021,” said LA Public Health.
All told, this took California’s death toll to 50,991. Nearly 21,000 of these were in Los Angeles County, where hospital and emergency services resources had been sparsely stretched during the winter wave
That’s about 10 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in the US in the year since the first confirmed fatal accident in the country. The death toll in the US exceeded 500,000 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University, and now stands at 506,500.
Population-adjusted, the California death toll comes to about 129 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s the 28th highest in the US, according to a The Washington City Times analysis of Covid Tracking Project data.
California passed a more encouraging milestone on Thursday, with the health department revealing that it had administered more than 8 million doses of vaccine, which is more than any other state in absolute terms.
California, the most populous state in the US, has taken 19,933 shots per 100,000 people, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Feb. 24. That is the 28th highest percentage of the US states.
The California health department reported a further 4,965 cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 3.46 million since the pandemic began.
The number of people with coronavirus currently in hospitals in the state has dropped to 6,520. That’s the fewest number of patients since November 24, just before Thanksgiving.
California is one of several states that has revised coronavirus deaths or the number of cases in recent weeks. In processing death certificates in Virginia, the state has increased its death toll by about 10 percent to over 7,800 in the past five days. Ohio previously revealed “about 4,000” fatalities that were initially unrecorded, bringing the death toll at that point up to about 16,300.