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New COVID-19 cases plummet in California

The Stockton Record logo The Stockton Record 2/1/2021 Mike Stucka, USA TODAY NETWORK
a group of people wearing blue: Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services employees, and other supporting health care professionals, conduct free COVID-19 antigen testing during a drive-through outreach at the old Tiyan carnival grounds on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. © Rick Cruz/Pacific Daily News Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services employees, and other supporting health care professionals, conduct free COVID-19 antigen testing during a drive-through outreach at the old Tiyan carnival grounds on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.

California reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 136,789 new cases. That's down 21% from the previous week's toll of 173,047 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

California ranked No. 18 among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week the United States added 1,038,890 reported cases of coronavirus, a decrease of -12.4% from the week before. Across the country, 5 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Across California, cases fell in 43 counties, with the best declines in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties.

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The share of California test results that came back positive was 6.7% in the latest week, compared with 8.1% in the week before, a USA TODAY Network analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows. In the latest week, 1,993,303 tests were administered; a week earlier, that figure was 2,057,100. Experts say it is important to look at the share of tests that come back positive, not just case counts, to get a better idea of whether the rate of new infections is changing or if differences in testing are playing a role.

The World Health Organization says places should be conducting enough tests to have fewer than 5% coming back positive. Places where the percentage is higher could struggle to complete contact tracing soon enough to prevent spread of the virus.

Within California, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Kings, Riverside and Ventura ​counties​. Adding the most new cases overall were Los Angeles County, with 43,792 cases; Riverside County, with 13,378 cases; and San Diego County, with 10,847. Weekly case counts rose in 15 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Alameda, Monterey and Kings counties.

In California, 3,807 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 3,506 people were reported dead.

A total of 3,324,264 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 40,928 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 26,186,781 people have tested positive and 441,324 people have died.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New COVID-19 cases plummet in California

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