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In another dramatic sign of how rapidly California is recovering from COVID-19, the state recorded its lowest hospitalization rate since the first few weeks of the pandemic, according to data reviewed by The Times.

The numbers come just months after the winter surge left hospitals across Southern California overwhelmed with patients and a spike in deaths.

But over the last three months, COVID-19 has receded rapidly across the region, allowing a massive reopening of the economy and the hope for a return to some kind of normal by the summer.

California is now at the bottom of the nation when it comes to coronavirus case rates. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County progressed into the least-restrictive tier of California’s color-coded closure system, clearing the way for the nation’s most populous county to reopen its economy to the widest extent currently possible.

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