California hits 4 million COVID-19 cases amid delta variant spread


California has now reported 4 million coronavirus infections, Times data show — a milestone that underscores the extent to which the pandemic has roared back to life as the ultra-transmissible Delta variant continues to storm across the state.

Breaking that barrier seemed a far-off prospect only weeks ago, when the state reopened its economy amid tumbling transmission rates and ushered in a hopeful chapter in the long-running battle against COVID-19.

But the coronavirus has since rebounded with ferocity, and California is seeing a level of daily infection higher than at any point during last summer’s surge.

Despite the rapid rise in cases, the numbers of Californians hospitalized with and dying from COVID-19 remain lower than those seen a year ago, and well shy of the darkest days of the fall-and-winter wave.

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