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Gov. Newsom. Photo: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

California reported 12,807 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, setting a new record for daily infections and pulling the state past New York for most total confirmed cases in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The state of play: California is one of a number of hotspots that has seen a surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to slam the brakes on the state's reopening plan and tighten restrictions on indoor activities.

  • In addition to the more than 12,000 new cases, California reported 115 deaths and a seven-day average of 9,420 daily infections.
  • Yes, but: Experts believe the number of coronavirus cases in California — as in many states — is actually much higher than the official tally, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The big picture: With over 409,000 confirmed cases, California has now surpassed New York's total of about 408,000.

  • New York was once the epicenter of the pandemic but has successfully flattened its infection curve through stringent lockdown measures and a phased, data-based reopening plan.
  • California managed to turn its outbreak around after it appeared to be heading toward disaster March — only to find cases skyrocketing three months later.

Go deeper: The coronavirus lessons of California

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Oct 30, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus surge threatens to shut classrooms down again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The nationwide surge in coronavirus cases is forcing many school districts to pull back from in-person instruction.

Why it matters: Remote learning is a burden on parents, teachers and students. But the wave of new infections, and its strain on some hospitals' capacity, makes all forms of reopening harder to justify.