A lonely road in Inyo County near Lone Pine, Calif., with the Sierra Nevada in the background. (Photo: Nella, via Shutterstock)
California’s most heavily populated counties are drawing the most attention as COVID-19 spikes and spreads, with Los Angeles reporting more than 140,000 cases and nearly 3,900 deaths since March. But California’s rural counties also face immense challenges. And while their populations are less dense and the infection levels lower overall than the larger counties, the available health services often are scant.
The Third Street Promenade, an open-air mall in Santa Monica, is completely deserted during the shutdown. (Photo: MSPhotographic, via Shutterstock)
Last month, facing the prospect of overwhelmed hospitals and unchecked spread of the novel coronavirus, seven Bay Area county and city health departments joined forces to become the first region in the nation to pass sweeping regulations ordering millions of people indoors and shuttering the local economy.