California hits 2 million confirmed COVID cases and counting, with a post-Christmas surge expected

"Hospitals are full, ICU beds are few, people are dying. The simplest thing we can do, but also the most significant, is to stay home. We are the first line of defense against this virus, and we must act now."
— Dr. Mark Ghaly, CA HHS, Dec. 14, 2020

Today, Christmas Eve, 2020, is the day California became the first U.S. state to record 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The state remains under a strict stay-at-home order, and hospitals are overwhelmed with the worst flood of cases since the pandemic began this year.

A Johns Hopkins University data analysis shows California has recorded 2,010,157 infections since January, and 23,635 people have died from the virus.

From the Associated Press:

The first COVID-19 case in California was confirmed Jan. 25. It took 292 days to get to 1 million infections on Nov. 11. Just 44 days later, the number topped 2 million.

The California Department of Public Health separately tallied 2,003,146 cases and a one-day bump of 39,070 infections that was down from the one-day peak of nearly 54,000 cases at mid-month. The state's death toll climbed by 351, also down from the record high set last week. Another 427 people were hospitalized, raising the total to 18,875. The 3,962 in intensive care units was a record high, as is the number of those hospitalized.

California's infection rate — in terms of the number of cases per 100,000 people — is lower than the U.S. average. But its nearly 40 million residents mean the outbreak outpaces other states in sheer numbers.

Read more at AP: COVID in California: 2 million confirmed cases and counting