CA made bad decisions. FL made better ones.

As the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States approaches, two of the country’s three most populous states — California and Florida — are seeing two very different epidemiological curves. Hard-lockdown California is — perhaps counterintuitively — recording significantly higher new case numbers and hospitalizations compared to the more open, less restricted state of Florida.

Florida as of this week has recorded a little over 1.5 million positive test results of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, while California has registered nearly 3 million. Per CDC figures, the two states are roughly equal in their population-adjusted case numbers per 100,000 residents, with California at around 7,300 and Florida at a little over 7,000.