California is now the state with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation, surpassing New York.
California’s confirmed coronavirus cases have topped 409,000, with data from John's Hopkins University showing Wednesday that the state now has about 1,200 more cases than New York.
However, New York's 72,302 deaths are by far the highest total in the country and nine times more than California's tally, and its rate of confirmed infections of about 2,100 per 100,000 people is twice California's rate.
California is by far the most populous U.S. state, at nearly 40 million people, while New York has about 19.5 million.
"It's not unexpected you know we are doing all we can to make sure we control the rate of spread," Dr. Mark Ghaly said.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's health secretary, points out California is the most populous state.
More than 400,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in California.
"You know I don't myself overread into the significance of that number. I look at it every day as an opportunity to do more and do better with our response to COVID-19 and at the end, I really expect and hope that California is going to be the state that adapted the most, learned the most, prepared the best," Ghaly said.
There have been far fewer COVID-19 related deaths in California than New York.
Ghaly acknowledges a lot of people saw the state's reopening as a "green light" to go back to life as usual. "We acknowledge clearly that unfortunately our reopening has been treated as a green light for many to resume normal life," Ghaly said.
He is still betting Californians will wear face coverings and take other steps to slow the spread of the virus.
"To get to a place where we can not just reopen certain sectors that have been closed again but to avoid reclosure in the future. That said, we will always have that finger on the dimmer switch. We are not afraid to use it. We are bold in understanding the science and data to try to guide us through this," Ghaly said.
Just this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom allowed hair salons and barbershops to operate outdoors after calling for their closures.
Newsom had ordered the closure of fitness centers, houses of worship, hair and nail salons, barbershops in certain counties on the state monitoring list last week, which includes LA County. Newsom also closed the following statewide - indoor operations at dine-in restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, and bars including outdoors.
He also ordered the closure of schools for in-person classes for those Calfornia counties that are on the state monitoring list. Newsom said schools can physically reopen when its county has been off the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Schools that don't meet this requirement must begin the year with distance learning, according to Newsom.
Newsom ordered the closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, zoos, movie theaters for at least three weeks for certain counties, including LA County, amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the state. Newsom has already ordered the closure of bars in LA County and other counties. Meanwhile, LA County, Orange County and Riverside counties decided to close their bars. The city of LA also ordered the closures of their gyms, hair and nail salons, barbershops and houses of worship.
Ghaly says it'll take weeks, maybe even more than a month, to "feel the full impact" of the recent closures.