Tracking the coronavirus in California

Tracking the coronavirus in California

confirmed cases

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly across California. Experts say the true number of people infected is unknown and likely much higher than official tallies.

To better understand the spread of the virus, The Times is conducting an independent, continual survey of dozens of local health agencies across the state. So far today, 28 of the 61 agencies have reported new numbers.

The latest totals

Coronavirus can infect people so rapidly that it has continued to spread despite shutdown orders aimed at slowing the growth of new cases and flattening the line below.

The number of cases in California is now on pace to double every 143 days, a number used to measure how quickly the virus is spreading.

Cumulative cases
Times survey of county and local health departments

Local governments announce new cases and deaths each day, though bottlenecks in bureaucracy can introduce delays. For instance, some agencies do not report new totals on holidays and weekends, leading to lower numbers on those days.

Over the past week, the state has averaged 4,421 new cases and 58.4 new deaths per day.

The charts here will update when today's Times survey of the state's 61 health agencies is complete.

New cases by day
Deaths by day
The lines above are seven-day averages. They offer a more stable view of the trend than daily totals. The gray range marks when errors in a state computer system delayed the tabulation of new cases.

Where new cases are concentrated

State officials study the latest data and then rate counties to determine when and how businesses reopen. After adjusting for population, the virus is now categorized as widespread in 9 counties, keeping those areas largely locked down. Together they are home to 41% of California residents.

The government doesn't release enough data to replicate its analysis, but the rate of new cases over the last seven days provides some insight into where the virus is spreading.

What's open where?

See how the governor has rated all 58 counties, and what that means for reopening, in our county reopening tracker.

Mapping the toll

The coronavirus has been found in all 58 counties, from urban Southern California to the state's rural north.

Residents of cities, neighborhoods and regions all across the state have contracted the coronavirus. Here are the latest tallies for 1,099 places as released by county health departments.

Confirmed cases

Counties that do not report cases by locality
The following counties currently do not report cases by locality: Alpine, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Mariposa, Modoc, San Benito, Sierra, Tehama and Tuolumne

Hospitals and patients

Lockdown measures aim to slow the virus in hope of preventing hospitals from being overrun. To keep tabs on capacity, officials watch out for rapid increases in the number of patients.

There are now 2,281 hospital patients statewide with a confirmed case, a change of 4% from two weeks ago.

Intensive care and other hospitalized patients
California Department of Public Health

Officials also closely monitor the number of beds open in intensive-care units. In late July, the state changed its tracking method to exclude beds that are only for infants from the count.


After a fitful start, California has increased coronavirus testing in the state. Over the last week, an average of 134,346 tests have been conducted each day.

New tests by day
California Department of Public Health

In the last seven days, about 3.2% of the 940,421 tests conducted have returned a positive result.

Positive test rate, seven-day average
California Department of Public Health

Wide disparities in age and race

While younger adults make up the majority of positive tests, deaths due to the virus have skewed heavily toward the elderly.

Percentage of cases vs. population
Percentage of deaths vs. population
California Department of Public Health

The state has logged the race of the patient in nearly two-thirds of cases.

Latinos and Black people have contracted the virus at a higher rate than white and Asian people. After adjusting for population, Latinos are now 3.3 times more likely to test positive than white people.

Cumulative cases by race per 100,000 people
The other category includes Native Americans and people of two or more races.
California Department of Public Health

One outcome is that among most age groups, and especially younger people, Black people and Latinos are dying more often than other races relative to their share of the population.

Percentage of deaths vs. population

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are a tragic focal point of the outbreak. Residents and staff have accounted for 7% the state's coronavirus cases, but 34% of its deaths.

Deaths at nursing homes vs. elsewhere
California Department of Public Health

Track outbreaks in California nursing homes

Follow the data and look up the latest tallies at the hundreds of skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities across the state.

California in context

To date, the United States has recorded 8,698,835 coronavirus cases and 225,617 deaths. In the last week, the country has averaged 69,925 new cases and 798 deaths per day.

While California — America’s most populous state — leads the nation in cases, it ranks much lower after adjusting for population. Home to 12% of the country's population, thus far it has accounted for roughly 11% of cases.

New cases in California vs. the rest of the country
Johns Hopkins University CSSE, Times survey

The same is true for deaths. So far, California has accounted for 8% of deaths nationwide. It still trails far behind New York, where deaths surged in the early days of the pandemic.

New deaths in California vs. the rest of the country
Johns Hopkins University CSSE, Times survey