California becomes first state to hit half a million COVID-19 cases

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People walk with bags after shopping at the Selfridges department store in London, Monday, June 15, 2020. After three months of being closed under coronavirus restrictions, shops selling fashion, toys and other non-essential goods are being allowed to reopen across England for the first time since the country went into lockdown in March.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(CBS) – More than half a million people have tested positive for the coronavirus in California, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. California is the first U.S. state to hit 500,000 cases. 

More than 9,000 people have died from coronavirus in California, and more than 6,000 people are in the hospital or an intensive care unit, according to state data published Friday morning. 

In mid-July, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new restrictions to try and ease the spread of the virus. Bars, breweries, restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other indoor businesses that “encourage mixing of individuals beyond immediate households and make physical distancing and wearing face coverings difficult” were ordered to close. Counties that are on the state’s monitoring list for three or more consecutive days were also ordered to close indoor operations, including fitness centers, places of worship, indoor protests, personal care services, salons, and malls. 

According to the state, 33 of 58 counties are currently flagged for having elevated disease transmission, increased hospitalization rates, and/or a limited hospital capacity. 

“Due to increased COVID-19 transmissions statewide and rising hospitalization numbers in many communities, we are taking more actions today to slow transmissions of the disease,” the governor said in a statement announcing the closures. “Each of us has the power to slow the spread of the virus. Here’s how you can help: Avoid mixing with people who are not in your household. If you can’t avoid it, wear a mask, move indoor activities outside, stay physically distant and wash your hands.”

California has hit numerous daily records for coronavirus cases and deaths over recent weeks. Florida and Texas are trailing close behind the state, with more than 470,000 and 430,000 cases, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins. Only Sao Paulo, Brazil, has more cases than California, with over 540,000.  

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