70,000 California residents have died of coronavirus

As the fight against COVID-19 continues, California's death toll passed another tragic milestone.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the state hit 70,000 COVID deaths in the pandemic. It’s the most in the nation, surpassing Texas by about 3,000 and Florida by 13,000, although California’s per capita fatality rate of 177 per 100,000 people is well below the overall U.S. rate of 214.

This news comes as California is experiencing the lowest infection rate in the country.

Health officials believe things could continue to improve. 

State Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly told the Associated Press that he does not expect California to repeat the surge that we saw last winter and that new quarantine orders are not expected.