Peter Wells in New York
California reported fewer than 5,000 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday for the first time since early November, another sign the state is putting its latest pandemic wave under control.
The health department detected an additional 4,090 infections, up from 5,692 on Tuesday, and marked the smallest one-day increase in cases since Nov. 3.
While the latest figures may reflect delays in reports after a long weekend, the milestone below 5,000 highlights a change in wealth from California’s worst pandemic from mid-December to mid-January, when the most populous state in the U.S. reported several one-day increases of more than 50,000 cases.
Other closely observed metrics are also moving in encouraging directions. The 14-day positivity rate, at 4.1 percent, is the lowest since mid-November and lower than the recent high of 14 percent in early January.
Hospitalizations, at 8,855, were below 9,000 for the first time since late November, while the number of available intensive care beds in the state was the highest in just over two months.
The number of deaths that usually lag behind in cases and hospitalizations remains relatively high. Authorities attributed an additional 400 deaths to the coronavirus, up from a seven-week low on Tuesday.
According to the health department, the state administered 6.4 million coronavirus vaccines. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on February 16 show that the total amount was 6.2 million, or 15,719 doses per 100,000 people, which ranks it among the 20 American states with the lowest vaccination rate per capita.