California Coronavirus Update: CA Is No Longer Most Infected State In U.S.

Seventy-year-old Jacobo Garcia visits his wife of 54 years, Aurora Garcia, at her nursing home window. Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP

California is no longer the most infected state in the nation.

The largest state in the U.S., long the home of the greatest number of coronavirus cases, has been surpassed by the second largest state, where cases are surging.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the Golden State had recorded 940,411 infections since the state of the pandemic. That’s no small number, but Texas had recorded 942,303 as of Monday.

That data is even more startling given that the population of Texas is 29 million and California’s is 39 million. So how has the Lone Star State surpassed California?

On Monday, California reported 4,044 new daily cases. Texas reported 7,215. Texas is recording more cases per day. Plus, its case count is on the rise.

According to Johns Hopkins, the 7-day moving test positivity rate in California is 3.2% and falling. In Texas, that number is 8.7% and rising. What’s more, California is doing more tests per 1,000 people, at 3.4, than Texas, which is at 2.4 tests per 1,000. Typically, with more testing comes more cases. So the fact that Texas, with 1/4 less population and roughly 1/3 less testing, is seeing about 40% more cases is a very bad sign.

Also, while each state’s three largest cities are among the top 10 biggest in the nation, each California city is much denser than its closest Texan counterpart. That should, again, mean more rapid spread in California. That is not currently the case.

According to AP, as daily infections dropped this fall, Texas Governor Greg Abbott began relaxing coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, gyms and bars.

Then the resurgence began.

Medical resources near the border have recently been overwhelmed. Governor Abbott ordered more medical equipment and personnel to the area, with mobile medical units being set up in parking lots to deal with a coronavirus overload. On Thursday, El Paso County officials ordered a two-week shutdown of nonessential activities.

Coronavirus-related deaths, which are often a lagging indicator, have also already outpaced those in California. So far, 18,534 Texans have been lost to the pandemic. In California, that number is 17,689.

While numbers in California are better than in the Lone Star state, daily case numbers have risen significantly. The 14-day rolling average of daily new cases was about 3,000 on October 18. On Monday, that same 14-day average was up higher than 4,300. Not good, especially as we move into flu season and the holidays, when more people tend to be clustered indoors.

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