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Coronavirus cases fall in California

Mike Stucka
USA TODAY NETWORK
Brian Gill administers a coronavirus test Oct. 16, 2020, at the University of Texas at El Paso campus. With a spike in cases in El Paso, more people are flocking to testing centers.

California reported 28,459 new cases of coronavirus in the week ending Saturday, down 5.4% from the previous week when 30,070 new cases were reported.

California ranked No. 44 among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week the United States added 548,664 reported cases of coronavirus, an increase of 17% from the week before. Across the country, 41 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Across California, cases fell in 19 counties, with the best declines in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

>> See how your community has fared with recent coronavirus cases

The share of California test results that came back positive was 2.9% in the latest week, compared with 3.3% in the week before, a USA TODAY Network analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows. In the latest week, 993,138 tests were administered; a week earlier, that figure was 852,468.Experts say it is important to look at the share of tests that come back positive, not just case counts, to get a better idea of whether the rate of new infections is changing or if differences in testing are playing a role.

The World Health Organization says places should be conducting enough tests to have fewer than 5% coming back positive. Places where the percentage is higher could struggle to complete contact tracing soon enough to prevent spread of the virus.

Within California, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Alpine, Modoc and Kings counties. Adding the most new cases overall were Los Angeles County, with 8,681 cases; San Bernardino County, with 2,599 cases; and San Diego County, with 2,436. Weekly case counts rose in 37 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Kings, Sonoma and San Diego counties.

In the state, 316 people died in the latest week. In the previous week, 387 people died.

A total of 932,143 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 17,659 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 9,125,482 people have tested positive and 230,548 people have died.