California coronavirus death toll passes 15,000 mark

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FILE – In this July 31, 2020, file photo, Romelia Navarro, right, is comforted by nurse Michele Younkin, left, as she weeps while sitting at the bedside of her dying husband, Antonio Navarro, in St. Jude Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit in Fullerton, Calif. Antonio was Younkin’s first COVID-19 patient to pass on her watch. California’s death count from the coronavirus surpassed 15,000 on Sunday, Sept. 20, even as the state saw widespread improvement in infection levels. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s death count from the coronavirus has surpassed 15,000 even as the state saw widespread improvement in infection levels.

A tally by Johns Hopkins University put California’s death toll at 15,026 on Sunday, the fourth highest in the country. New York has suffered by far the most deaths — 33,081 — followed New Jersey, which has about half as many. Texas is third.

California has had the most confirmed virus cases in the country with about 775,000 but key indicators have fallen dramatically since a spike that started after Memorial Day weekend prompted statewide shutdowns of businesses.

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