Once A Model, California Now Struggles To Tame COVID-19

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2020, file photo, medical workers remove a stretcher from an ambulance near medical tents outside the emergency room at UCI Medical Center, in Irvine, Calif. After months spent tamping down surges and keeping the coronavirus at manageable levels, a variety of factors combined to bring California to a crisis point in the pandemic. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

(AP) — After months of serving as a role model in the fight against COVID-19, California has seen infections race out of control for weeks. It now has the worst coronavirus diagnosis rate in the U.S. Experts say a variety of factors combined to wipe out California’s past efforts, which for much of the year tamped down on surges and kept the virus at manageable levels. Cramped housing, travel and Thanksgiving gatherings contributed to the spread, along with the public’s fatigue amid regulations that closed many schools and businesses and encouraged — or required — an isolated lifestyle.


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