COVID-19 cases fall in California
California reported 278,053 new cases of coronavirus in the week ending Saturday, down 5.2% in the previous week . Then, 293,381 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19 were reported.
California ranked No. 2 among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week the United States added 1,327,043 reported cases of coronavirus, a decrease of -12.3% from the week before. Across the country, 6 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.
Testing has changed around the holidays, making comparisons difficult. Labs and testing sites closed. People traveled or prepared for the holidays instead of getting tested. Some counties and states didn't report data as quickly.
Across California, cases fell in 31 counties, with the best declines in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.
The share of California test results that came back positive was 11.3% in the latest week, compared with 12.9% in the week before, a USA TODAY Network analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows. In the latest week, 2,334,293 tests were administered; a week earlier, that figure was 2,226,119. 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 San Bernardino, Tuolumne and Lassen counties. Adding the most new cases overall were Los Angeles County, with 96,076 cases; Riverside County, with 24,315 cases; and San Bernardino County, with 24,157. Weekly case counts rose in 26 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in San Joaquin, Sacramento and Ventura counties.
In California, 1,636 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Saturday. In the week before that, 1,624 people were reported dead.
A total of 2,120,610 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 24,218 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 18,982,634 people have tested positive and 331,909 people have died.