The tally by Johns Hopkins University shows the state passed the milestone Saturday with 40,240 deaths. The deaths are surging at a record pace after recent declines in cases and hospitalizations. It took six months for California to record its first 10,000 deaths, then four months to double to 20,000.
In just five weeks, the state reached 30,000 and needed only 20 days to get to 40,000.
New York leads the United States with more than 43,000 confirmed deaths, followed by California, Texas at 36,000, and Florida at 26,000.