California has surpassed New York state for the most coronavirus cases.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the unfortunate milestone via Twitter on Wednesday, confirming the Golden State has posted a single-day record of new infections over the last 24 hours. According to his tweet, the state had recorded an additional 12,807 confirmed cases on Tuesday, bringing its total number to more than 413,576; the Associated Press reports this is about 1,200 more cases than what New York has tallied since the pandemic began.
“We’re a state the size of 21 states combined,” Newsom said Wednesday. “So it’s not surprising now in some respects, as we began to reopen key sectors of our economy, people continue to mix and people continue to come in close contact with others that may have contracted this disease, that our numbers will start to go up in total.”
The governor also pointed out that New York, which has a population about half of the size of California’s, still has more confirmed cases per capita.
“Nonetheless, it’s a sober reminder of why we are taking things as seriously as we are,” he said. “A sober reminder of why we put in that mask mandate here in the state of California, and a reminder of why we modified our opening.”
The announcement comes just weeks after Newsom began rolling back coronavirus restrictions, as the state experienced a surge in infections. Indoor dining at restaurants was banned as well as indoor operations for movie theaters, hair salons, places of worship, and more.
“This virus is not going away anytime soon,” Newsom told reporters earlier this month. “We’re still seeing an increase in the positivity rate, community transmission … so that’s why it’s incumbent on all us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon until there is a vaccine and/or an effective therapy.”