Sacramento State professor says California’s COVID-19 case count rising due to better testing, death rate dropping locally

California Connection
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The number of California’s COVID-19 cases and related deaths may be rising more than originally expected, according to a projection model from the University of Washington.

However, one Sacramento State professor who has been collecting data on the virus said, locally, the number of cases and deaths is on the decline.

“More cases have been detected,” said Dr. Yang Sun, a professor of decision sciences and supply chain management. “That’s basically what’s happening over the last few weeks.”

Ever since this pandemic started, Dr. Sun has been gathering COVID-19 data from across the country to build models on how the virus is spreading.

He said there has been an increase in the number of cases in California but he warns that does not mean the virus is spreading more rapidly.

“In my opinion, the more cases that we’ve seen in the count is largely due to that we are more capable of detecting more cases,” he told FOX40.

Sun said he believes with better testing available, more cases are being found.

However, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that COVID-19 case numbers and deaths in California are going up more than originally expected.

“This virus is just wild,” Sun said. “None of the models have been accurate in many ways.”

State data shows about 40% of new cases in California are being reported in Los Angeles County.

But Sun said compared with other parts of the country, California has a much lower number of cases per million people.

“Right now, we still only have about 1,700 cases per million people,” Sun said. “New York and New Jersey, they have over 15,000 cases per million people.”

Still, there is likely to be even more deaths across the state and the nation.

On Sunday, the director of IHME said the virus could claim an additional 57,000 lives by August 4.

However, Sun believes those projections are inaccurate in California.

“The death cases have actually been pretty stable,” he said.

Closer to home, Sun said his original models on the Sacramento region have remained accurate and that this area is well past the peak of the pandemic.

“The seven-county Sacramento region as a whole, as a metropolitan area has actually been doing well,” Sun told FOX40.

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