Dec 24, 2020 - Health

California becomes first state to surpass 2 million coronavirus cases

A clinician cares for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Providence St. Mary Medical Center amid a surge in COVID-19 patients in Southern California on December 23
A clinician cares for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Providence St. Mary Medical Center amid a surge in COVID-19 patients in Southern California on Wednesday in Apple Valley, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California surpassed 2 million COVID-19 cases on Thursday morning, per Johns Hopkins University.

Why it matters: It's the first U.S. state to exceed 2 million coronavirus infections. While it took California over nine months for 1 million people to test positive for the virus, state health officials have confirmed 1 million cases in six weeks, the Mercury News notes.

A screenshot of hospitalization capacity rates across California, including in the south, which has 0% available.
Photo: California Department of Public Health/Twitter

The big picture: Intensive care units in California are overstretched, particularly in the south and San Joaquin Valley, which have 0% capacity.

  • Over 23,500 people have lost their lives to the coronavirus in California and the testing positivity rate stands at 6.45%, according to JHU.

For the record: The cases milestone comes as the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are being rolled out across the U.S., with more than 1 million Americans receiving a shot so far.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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