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California COVID-19 Deaths Set New Single-Day Record

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The State of California, once seen as a national leader in handling the coronavirus pandemic, has reported a new single-day record of deaths from COVID-19 in the state.

The Department of Public Health reported 149 people died of COVID-19 on Wednesday, breaking the previous high of 115 back in April. On Tuesday, California reported 114 deaths. There have been a total of 6,711 fatalities reported among the 296,449 total coronavirus cases in the state.

Bay Area Hospital Workers On The Frontlines Of COVID-19 Pandemic
Father Barry O'Toole reads a prayer to a patient in the intensive care unit (I.C.U.) at Regional Medical Center on May 21, 2020 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

"Slowly over time what we've seen are the numbers of cases starting to creep up. The cases start to increase, the hospitalizations increase, and now we're seeing a reflection in the number of deaths," Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell told CNN Thursday. "Certainly, that number of deaths that we're reporting today is our record high, it does include some extra cases that were backlogged and added in, but the reality is the numbers are increasing over time. Our seven-day rate average is 80 for this past week, that's 23 percent higher than the week before."

Angell acknowledged the state began its phased reopenings plans, which included detailed modifications and guidance for individuals and businesses, it has become evident that much of the guidance was not followed as closely as it needed to be.

"What we've seen over time is things haven't actually turned out the way they should have, and we're really now focusing again on enforcing the ways in which our businesses are opening, and also supporting our individuals in maintaining those specific changes like face-coverings, distance, and washing hands frequently that we know also helps to reduce transmission."

Governor Gavin Newsom has blamed the increasing spread of COVID-19 on the behavior of individuals refusing to follow the state's instructions to help reduce the spread of the disease.

On Thursday Newsom noted that that delayed reporting can inflate or deflate daily numbers, such as on Sunday when the state reported six deaths, and on Tuesday, when the daily number of new cases hit a new record of 11,694.  Newsom said the seven-day mortality rate is currently at 73 deaths per day.

Los Angeles County has seen the majority of coronavirus cases and deaths by far. In the Bay Area, the majority of COVID-19 deaths are in Santa Clara County (165), while Alameda County has seen the most total cases (7,335).




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