California has hit a sobering milestone in the pandemic of one million confirmed COVID-19 cases.
While the California Department of Public Health shows a total of 991,000 cases, multiple independent trackers show that the state passed the one million mark as of Thursday afternoon.
In recent weeks the state has averaged about 6,000 new cases per day.
The number of statewide hospitalizations has increased by 38% over the last two weeks and ICU stays have increased by 34%.
"We may be seeing a bump from Halloween now," said Dr. George Rutherford, Director of the Prevention and Public Health Group at UCSF.
Most of the state’s new infections are concentrated in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, but the infection rate is rising all over the Bay Area as well, particularly in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.
“In a couple of weeks, when we’re a week after Thanksgiving, that’s where we’re really gonna be worried. That’s where we’re really gonna potentially see an increase unless we can keep a lid on transmission at Thanksgiving, which is gonna be a really tall order," said Rutherford. "The more we mix, the more transmission there’s gonna be. Especially if it’s around food, when people take masks off."
The rise in infections has mostly been attributed to an increase in family and group gatherings.