LOS ANGELES (AP) -- California has edged past New York in the grim statistic of the number of deaths due to COVID-19.
Johns Hopkins University data reported Thursday shows California's death toll has reached 45,496, surpassing New York's toll of 45,312.
The development comes as coronavirus trends are showing improvement in California.
State Department of Public Health data shows the most recent seven-day test positivity rate has fallen to 4.8% and the daily number of new positive cases is under 8,400, down from well over 53,000 in December.
California, however, is grappling with vaccine shortages that are crippling efforts to inoculate substantial numbers of people.