California has reached a new grim milestone of 51,000 deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, becoming the first state in the United States to record more than 50,000 COVID-19-related fatalities.

Across the country, California has the highest population total at 40 million residents and leads in the number of COVID-19 infections at 3.5 million cases.

California and COVID-19

Two other states follow behind California in coronavirus-related deaths, New York with more than 48,000 and Texas with more than 42,000.

Los Angeles County was a major contributor in the total number of confirmed fatalities, with an additional 806 deaths. The incidents were not immediately reported as being related to the coronavirus.

The death cases came from the surge of cases recorded from December 3, 2020, to February 3, 2021, the California health department said.

California officials said the high number of records prevented the reporting of all of the fatalities. Later, authorities conducted another round of assessments and discovered the missing cases. Between December and January, there have already been more than 9,700 reported deaths.

“It is heartbreaking to report on this large number of additional deaths associated with COVID-19 and a devastating reminder of the terrible toll the winter surge has taken on so many families across the county,” Los Angeles County Department of Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

While the number of confirmed coronavirus-related infections and deaths continue to drop across the United States, the current amount of confirmed cases is still worrisome, health experts said, ABC News reported.

The U.S. recorded more than 500,000 total coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, and over 28 million confirmed cases as of Wednesday evening.