California has edged past New York in the grim statistic of the number of deaths due to COVID-19, according Johns Hopkins University data reported Thursday.
California’s death toll reached 45,496, surpassing New York’s toll of 45,312.
The development comes as coronavirus trends are showing improvement in California.
The most recent seven-day test positivity rate has fallen to 4.8%, according to the state Department of Public Health.
The most recent daily number of newly confirmed positive cases was 8,390, down from well over 53,000 in December.
California, however, is grappling with vaccine shortages that are crippling efforts to inoculate substantial numbers in the state of nearly 40 million residents.
The city of Los Angeles is temporarily closing five mass vaccination sites, including Dodger Stadium, for lack of supply.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that the city will exhaust its supply of Moderna first doses — two are required for full immunization — by Thursday, forcing it to close drive-thru and walk-up vaccination sites on Friday and Saturday.
The sites may not reopen until the city gets more supplies, which could come next Tuesday or Wednesday, although smaller mobile vaccination clinics will continue their work, he said.