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A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

  • California, the most populous state in the U.S., ranks 25th "in the number of cases per capita because of its large population," per AP, which notes that a surge in COVID-19 deaths in the fall and winter has since abated.

Details: Johns Hopkins' records showing 50,890 have died of the virus in California as of early Thursday come a day after Los Angeles County health department announced it had confirmed over 20,000 deaths from COVID-19.

  • The department noted in a statement that cases and deaths from the virus were decreasing.
  • LA County health director Barbara Ferrer said in the statement, "This virus is still easily transmitted among people in contact with each other and we must do all we can to continue the momentum of the decreases we are seeing cases, hospitalizations and deaths."
  • The county is home to 25% of the state's 40 million residents.

For the record: California has begun easing restrictions and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) last month lifted stay-at-home orders across the state, declaring: "we're seeing a flattening of the curve."

Of note: On Monday, the U.S. COVID-19 death toll exceeded half a million. Deaths from the virus and infection numbers are declining nationwide.

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

Go deeper

Feb 25, 2021 - Health

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for the coronavirus

Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy at the White House in July 16. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday and is isolating at home with mild symptoms, his office announced.

Details: Dunleavy originally got tested after being identified as a close contact to someone who contracted the virus and returned a negative result Sunday morning, per a statement. He still went into quarantine in his home in Wasilla, just north of Anchorage.

Updated Feb 24, 2021 - Sports

Tiger Woods "awake, responsive" in hospital after rollover crash

Tiger Woods golfing at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando in December 2020. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tiger Woods is "awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room" after sustaining serious leg injuries in a rollover car crash in Los Angeles County, his team said in a statement early Wednesday.

The latest: Per the statement, the 45-year-old golfing great underwent "a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle" at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Tuesday night.

Feb 23, 2021 - Health

California to provide $600 stimulus payments to 5.7 million people

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a Feb. 12 news conference in San Francisco. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie/Pool/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has pledged to sign into law Tuesday a measure to provide some 5.7 million people with at least $600 in one-off payments as part of a state COVID-19 relief package.

Driving the news: State lawmakers on Monday overwhelmingly voted for the bill, designed to help people on lower incomes through the pandemic.