As the spread of COVID-19 across America has accelerated, the case count in California has ballooned at a terrible rate. The state has 1,827,535 of the U.S. total of 17,702,516 confirmed cases. California has 22,509 of America’s 318,499 fatal cases. And California’s COVID-19 figures are highest in Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest by population. It has 596,910 confirmed cases and 8,757 deaths. The confirmed case count is higher than Canada’s.
Canada currently has 501,594 confirmed cases and 14,154 deaths. Its population is much larger than that of Los Angeles County. Canada has 37.6 million residents, while Los Angeles County has about 10 million. Obviously, the Los Angeles County cases are highly concentrated, based on geographic area, a factor that almost certainly must make the risk of spread higher.
The Los Angeles County confirmed case count is also close to that of several other nations. The current number in Romania is 587,944, with 14,296 deaths. It has a population of 19.4 million. Chile has 583,354 confirmed cases and 16,101 fatal ones. It has a population of 18.7 million. Iraq has 583,118 confirmed cases and 12,680 deaths. Its population is 38.4 million. Some experts would make the argument that the collection of health care data is more sophisticated in California than in these nations, so their counts may be much too low.
The Los Angeles County statistics point to the extent to which COVID-19 has ravaged America’s largest cities. Cook County, the home to Chicago, ranks second among all U.S. counties in confirmed cases at 368,824. Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, has 277,071. Miami-Dade has 272,098, and Harris County, home to Houston, has 217,086.
Globally, the COVID-19 figures will worsen. In the United States, the outlook for the short term is bleak. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine has one of the most carefully followed and widely regarded COVID-19 prediction models for deaths, daily infections, testing, mask use, hospital resource use and social distancing. Its scientists forecast that 509,000 Americans will die by April 1, if Americans do not take more aggressive measures to arrest the spread of the disease.
It is staggering that one American county could have more cases than some of the world’s larger countries based on population. It is a measure of just how bad the situation is in the United States.