California’s COVID-19 case rate now twice Florida’s — what’s up with that?

The Golden State’s cases are projected to rise into January

A month ago the coronavirus seemed headed for a long winter’s nap in masked and well-vaccinated California. Gov. Gavin Newsom boasted that the Golden State “continues to lead the nation” as the only state to reach the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s yellow “moderate” tier of community virus transmission.

But COVID-19 cases aren’t falling in California anymore. They have climbed back up to the CDC’s blood-red “high” level of virus transmission as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to wreak havoc.

Meanwhile, the virus has gone quiet in Deep South states that abandoned mask orders, opposed vaccine mandates, posted lower vaccination rates and saw larger outbreaks over the summer. California’s case rate is now well above Texas’ and double Florida’s, which along with the rest of the Gulf Coast are down to the CDC’s orange “substantial” transmission level.


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