Los Angeles County has become the first county in the country to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases.
L.A. officially crossed the milestone on Saturday when health officials in the county also announced that they had also detected the first cases of a new “highly transmissible” variant of the coronavirus, which was first found in the U.K.
During the Saturday announcement, Axios reports L.A. County recorded 14,669 new coronavirus cases and 253 new deaths — bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 1,003,923 and the total deaths to 13,741.
The next highest county in the state, San Bernardino County, has 248,000 coronavirus cases and 1,560 deaths.
Riverside County (235,000 coronavirus cases; 2,517 deaths), Orage County (222,000 cases, 2,320 deaths), and San Diego County (210,000 cases, and 2,065 deaths), round out the top five highest impacted areas in California.
The entire state of California has 2.9 million cases and 33,369 deaths (per Worldometers).
The B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus has also been found in San Diego and San Bernardino counties, Axios reports.
- The L.A. County Department of Public Health said Saturday the variant was found in a male who traveled to Oregon, where he is now isolating.
- “Although this is the first confirmed case of the U.K. variant in Los Angeles County, Public Health believes that it is already spreading in the community,” the department noted.
- While the variant is more contagious, it does not appear to be resistant to existing vaccines or cause more severe symptoms.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday that variant, detected in more than a dozen states, will likely become the dominant strain in the U.S. in March if more steps aren’t taken to mitigate the spread.