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CHICO, Calif. - Following a year of rollercoaster surges and tight restrictions, California finally has the lowest COVID-19 case rate in the continental U.S.
Dr. Rob Bernstein from Butte County Public Health said measuring rates per 100,000 people over the last seven days makes it easier to compare largely populated states like California to smaller states like Utah.
“If it’s occurring at a low rate, you can expect it to be occurring at low numbers,” said Dr. Bernstein.
According to the CDC, California’s case rate is currently at 39.3, dramatically lower than the nation’s case rate that sits at 132.
California is one of a handful of states that are still following strict restrictions, such as extended patio seating for outdoor dining and mandatory masks.
This is what local health experts are attributing to the state’s lower trend in cases.
"Because of the actions and policies that the governor has implemented and because of the cooperation of the people in California, we are doing pretty well right now,” said Dr. Bernstein.
For Chico State student, Ananias Mayo, California looks very different than his hometown in Georgia.
"I think California and our policies we just took COVID extremely seriously in order to like mitigate the spread of cases,” said Mayo.
The progress is giving Mayo hope for the coming months.
"I just miss getting to play soccer, and the feeling of someone on your back is just a good feeling,” Mayo told Action News Now.
Dr. Rob Bernstein said that some still battle restriction fatigue, but restrictions are necessary to help the community reach herd immunity.
"It's very lonely when you are under the COVID cover,” said Carmelita Sanchez, who lives in Paradise. “You just can’t go anywhere and have people come and see you."
Sanchez is not feeling quite as lonely anymore since being vaccinated.
"It's really good for both my husband and I,” said Sanchez. “We feel like we can get together with people again.”
Dr. Bernstein told Action News Now that 80% is the herd immunity percent the community needs to achieve.
According to the California Department of Public Health, 43% of people have gotten at least their first dose of vaccination.
California COVID-19, By The Numbers:
�� Confirmed cases to date: 3,622,427
�� Note: Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed
— CA Public Health (@CAPublicHealth) April 21, 2021
Photo courtsey of the CDC