Speed Reads


California's COVID-19 death toll exceeds 60,000

The COVID-19 death toll in California topped 60,000 this weekend, representing 10.7 percent of virus deaths nationwide.

Still, the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths is down in the state, and a massive vaccination effort is underway; on Thursday, all adult Californians, as well as 16- and 17-year-olds, will be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. As of Sunday, 37.7 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 22 percent are fully vaccinated, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Officials say the stay-at-home orders and expanded vaccine access have helped shift California away from the surge in cases that took place during the fall and winter. In late January, over a seven-day period as many as 562 deaths on average were being reported daily, and that has since dropped to an average of 105 to 120 per day, the Times reports. The virus is still hitting lower-income Latino communities hard, as these dense neighborhoods are home to many essential workers who live in tight quarters.

About 12 percent of Americans live in California, and Johns Hopkins University data shows that of the eight most populous states, California has the lowest cumulative COVID-19 per capita death rate: 153 per 100,000 residents. New Jersey has the highest at 280 per 100,000 residents.