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

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months — Trump claims COVID "will go away" during debate.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: How to help save 130,000 livesFDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Trump claims COVID "will go away," Biden calls his response disqualifying

President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus "will go away" and that the U.S. is "rounding the turn," while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.

Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.

How the coronavirus pandemic could end

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's still the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but history, biology and the knowledge gained from our first nine months with COVID-19 point to how the pandemic might end.

The big picture: Pandemics don't last forever. But when they end, it usually isn't because a virus disappears or is eliminated. Instead, they can settle into a population, becoming a constant background presence that occasionally flares up in local outbreaks.