California surpassed 43,000 total Covid-19-related deaths Friday, becoming only the second state to reach the grim milestone since the start of the pandemic as it continues to see a wave of deaths following a catastrophic surge of infections over the holidays.
The somber new tally came on the same day the state announced it had administered its four millionth vaccine dose, ramping up efforts to administer the shots in a race against new coronavirus variants and jump-starting plans toward reopening.
California has administered vaccines “far more than any other state,” Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday. Nearly 1 million shots were given last week and over 1 million people were vaccinated in California this week alone, he said.
“Speed, equity, and safety continue to be our top priorities,” Newsom said in a statement.
This news comes after 558 more fatalities were reported in the Golden State Friday, putting it on track to potentially surpass hard-hit New York with the highest number of Covid-19-related deaths in the US as soon as next week.
To note: These numbers were released by the California Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real-time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.