California becomes first state to reach 2 million COVID-19 cases

California orders watch list counties to close indoor operations amid surge in COVID-19 cases
Posted at 10:29 AM, Dec 24, 2020

LOS ANGELES — California has become the first U.S. state to record 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

A tally by Johns Hopkins University on Thursday morning showed the nation’s most populous state has a total of 2,010,157 infections. There have been more than 23,000 deaths.

The grim milestone comes as the COVID-19 crisis that health officials say stems from Thanksgiving gatherings strains California’s medical system.

More than 18,000 people are hospitalized and many of the state’s intensive care units are filled. Mobile field hospitals are being erected in several places around California to handle the overflow of patients.

The California Department of Public Health this week declared that the two Southern California regions, encompassing Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley had 0% ICU bed availability.