California, Florida show similar COVID trends despite different policies

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Despite tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in vastly different ways, California and Florida have experienced similar trends with the number of cases and death rate on the decline in recent weeks.

California has emerged as one of the strictest states in the nation, with Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, shutting down businesses and schools. His administration said it was implementing these measures based on counties’ ICU capacity.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has taken an entirely different approach. Though he took similar measures to Newsom early on in the pandemic, he eventually lifted statewide restrictions on the economy and prohibited law enforcement for fining people.

The latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows California has reported nearly 3.5 million COVID-19 cases in total, while Florida has reported more than 1.82 million.

Florida’s population is slightly more than half of California’s. But even with that considered, both states have reported similar percentages of cases and deaths compared with the overall population.

California’s total number of COVID-19 cases as a percentage of the population is about 8.8%, while Florida’s is about 8.3%. Out of all of the people in California who have gotten COVID-19, about 1.35% have died, while in Florida, it’s about 1.57%, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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