There's some good news for Californians who are sick and tired of the pandemic - California has become the only state in the nation to improve to a "moderate" rate of transmission for COVID-19, according to recently released data from the CDC.
California, which has some of the strictest mask and vaccination mandates in the nation, has also seen the death rate from the coronavirus plummet in recent weeks, with 0.2 deaths per 100,000 reported in the last seven days.
As the most populous state in the nation, California has reported more than 70,000 deaths since March of 2020. Two territories, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, have also dropped to 'moderate' transmission levels.
Five California counties have also seen their COVID transmission rates improve, with Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino moving into the 'substantial' level of transmission, down from 'high.' According to statewide figures, there were 632 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Monday, down from 638 on Sunday. Of those patients, 183 were in intensive care, down from 184 on Sunday.
At least eight states in the U.S. have dropped to 'substantial' levels of COVID-19 transmission including: Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Rhode Island.
In Northern California, rates of COVID-19 transmission have fallen even more, with Monterey, Alameda, Marin and San Mateo counties all reporting 'moderate' levels. Overall, the Golden State is averaging around 34 cases of the coronavirus per 100,000, according to CDC data.
For the rest of the country, the news isn't so good. Forty-four states and U.S. Territories continue to see 'high' levels of transmission with the average number of cases increasing over the last seven days, CDC data shows. Some states, like Idaho, Montana and North Dakota are averaging above 400 cases per 100,000.