LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — California has become the second state to record 1 million confirmed coronavirus infections.
Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed Thursday that California surpassed the grim milestone. It comes nearly 10 months after the first cases were confirmed in the most populous state. Texas reached the mark earlier this week.
California was the first in the nation to implement a statewide stay-at-home order on its nearly 40 million residents in March. After spiking in the summer, the rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California declined markedly into the fall but now is rising again, like much of the nation.
The timeline of COVID-19 in America often comes back to California. It had some of the earliest known cases among travelers from China, where the outbreak began. The Feb. 6 death of a San Jose woman is the first known coronavirus fatality in the U.S. That same month, California recorded the first U.S. case not related to travel and the first infection spread within the community.
On March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order, shuttering businesses and schools to try to prevent hospital overcrowding.
The spread slowed, but California faced the same challenges as other states: providing enough protective gear for health workers, doing enough testing and providing timely results, tracking infections and those potentially exposed.
As the state tried to balance public health and the economy, cases rose as it relaxed business restrictions. Eleven counties this week had to reimpose limits.