California became the first U.S. state to department of health.on August 1, and over 8,000 new cases were reported on Thursday, according to the state’s
The health department warns that “as case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase.”
In early February, America’s first known COVID-19 death occurred in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. The two individuals died at home in early and mid-February, before testing was made widely available.
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“Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time-restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms,” the Santa Clara County coroner said at the time.
Despite appearing to hit Northern California first, the virus has now taken hold in Southern California. A majority of cases have been reported in the region, and nearly half of all virus deaths in the state are in Los Angeles County, where over 4,800 people have died, CBS Los Angeles reported.
A graphic from California’s August 7 COVID-19 update showing a representation of positive cases by county.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
According to the health department, the distribution of cases “reveals significant disparities within California’s overall racial and ethnic demographics.”
Latino and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander groups make up a disproportionate amount of cases relative to their population in the state, according to the health department. And, a disproportionate amount of those groups, as well as Black Californians, have died from the disease compared with their population size in the state.
“Structural racism, poverty and the increased likelihood of having underlying conditions, such as heart disease and lung disease, are likely to contribute to this disparity,” the health department wrote.
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