California’s coronavirus death toll passes 15,000 mark


California’s death count from the coronavirus has surpassed 15,000 even as the state saw widespread improvement in infection levels.

A tally by Johns Hopkins University put California’s death toll at 15,026 on Sunday, the fourth highest in the country.

New York has suffered by far the most deaths — 33,081 — followed New Jersey, which has about half as many. Texas is third.

Of California’s counties, Los Angeles has had the most deaths, recording 6,330 COVID-19 fatalities as of Saturday.

California has had the most confirmed virus cases in the country with about 775,000, but key indicators have fallen dramatically since a spike that started after Memorial Day weekend prompted statewide shutdowns of businesses.

But the state’s health department says there continues to be race-based disparities in COVID-19 deaths.

“The differences in health outcomes related to COVID-19 are most stark in COVID-19 deaths … Latinos, African Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels,” the California Department of Public Health said.

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