(AP) — California has reported 40,000 coronavirus deaths as the state’s steepest surge of cases begins to taper. Data reported by Johns Hopkins University shows the state passed the milestone Saturday. The grim number comes amid a sharp recent decline in cases and hospitalizations but while deaths surge at a record pace. It took six months for California to record its first 10,000 deaths, then four months to double to 20,000. In just five more weeks the state reached 30,000. It then took only 20 days to get to 40,000. Now only New York has more deaths but at this pace California will eclipse that too.