MysteriesWhy Coronavirus Cases Are Rising but Deaths Are Not, for Now

Published 6 July 2020

The number of new coronavirus cases exploded in California last week while the death toll held steady, prompting predictions that the low body count, instead of a bright spot, might represent the calm before an ever-growing storm. Peter Fimrite writes for the San Francisco Chronicle that even as cases increased, the average number of deaths per day from COVID-19 dropped in the Bay Area by 14% from May to June. Statewide, average daily deaths fell by about 8%. There were 100 deaths statewide on July 2 and 50 on July 3 — both well below California’s peak of 115 deaths on April 22. Infectious-disease specialists say the low death rate is partly because of drugs that control COVID-19 better than before. But mainly, they say, it’s because most recent COVID-19 victims have been young people who are less likely to develop serious complications.