California closes in on 30,000 deaths during pandemic


LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is closing in on 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic as hospitals scramble to find beds for severely ill patients during a continuing spike in COVID-19 case numbers.

The state reported 468 deaths Sunday, a day after setting a record one-day total of 695. California’s death toll since the start of the virus outbreak rose to 29,701.

A surge of cases following Halloween and Thanksgiving produced record hospitalizations, and now the most seriously ill of those patients are dying in unprecedented numbers. Hospitals warn they may need to ration care as intensive care beds dwindle.

ICU capacity was at 15% in San Diego County Saturday. Public health officials reported 3,538 new COVID-19 infections and 53 additional deaths from the virus.

The county’s cumulative cases are now 188,600 with the death toll at 1,824.

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