LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- California hit the unfortunate milestone of 1 million coronavirus cases on Thursday afternoon amid talk of a possible new nationwide lockdown that could last six weeks.
That means roughly one in 40 people in California have now tested positive since the pandemic began. California accounts for nearly 10 percent of all the virus cases in America.
COVID-19 by the numbers:
- 1 million cases in California
- 10 million cases in the U.S.
- 52 million cases globally
- 1 out of 378 Americans tested positive this week alone
- Los Angeles County has now seen more than 7,200 deaths from the virus.
California is the second state to eclipse a million known cases - Texas hit the grim milestone on Tuesday. The nation's most populous state ranks 39th nationwide in the number of cases per 100,000 residents.
"While we've made impressive strides in caring for people who are ill with the virus, this much of an increase in cases, may very well result in tremendous suffering and tragic death down the road," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County public health department. "What is equally important to remember is that we can turn this around so we get back to slowing the spread."
Los Angeles County reported another 2,533 new cases of the coronavirus and Long Beach health officials added 45 and Pasadena announced 19, lifting the cumulative total in the county to 330,514. Ferrer noted that on Oct. 3, the county was averaging 988 new cases per day, but as of last week, the average rose to 1,464.
"Simply put, this is more than a 33% increase in daily cases, and we have seen no recent signs of any decreases in our case numbers,'' she said.
The timeline of COVID-19 in America often comes back to California. It had some of the earliest known cases among travelers from China, where the outbreak began. The Feb. 6 death of a San Jose woman is the first known coronavirus fatality in the U.S. That same month, California recorded the first U.S. case not related to travel and the first infection spread within the community.
On March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the nation's first statewide stay-at-home order, shuttering businesses and schools to try to prevent hospital overcrowding.
The spread slowed, but California faced the same challenges as other states: providing enough protective gear for health workers, doing enough testing and providing timely results, tracking infections and those potentially exposed.
The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.