California reports record daily COVID-19 death toll of 764

Coronavirus

FILE – This Jan. 12, 2021, file photo provided by the LA County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner shows National Guard members assisting with processing COVID-19 deaths and placing them into temporary storage at LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in Los Angeles in Los Angeles. More than 500 people are dying each day in California because of the coronavirus. The death toll has prompted state officials to send more refrigerated trailers to local governments to act as makeshift morgues. State officials said Friday they have helped distribute 98 refrigerated trailers to help county coroners store dead bodies. California reported 669 COVID-19 deaths, the second-highest daily death count, on Saturday, Jan. 16, and the nation’s most populous county announced it had detected its first case of a more transmissible strain of the coronavirus. Public health authorities in Los Angeles County confirmed its first case of the variant of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom. It was identified in a man who recently spent time in the county. (LA County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner via AP, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is reporting a one-day record of 764 COVID-19 deaths but the rate of new infections is falling.

The deaths reported Friday by the California Department of Public Health top the previous mark of 708 set on Jan. 8. In the last two days California has recorded 1,335 deaths.

Hospitalizations and newly confirmed cases have been falling, however,  and health officials are growing more optimistic that the worst of the surge is over.

The 23,024 new cases reported Friday are less than half the mid-December peak of nearly 54,000. Hospitalizations have fallen below 20,000, a drop of more than 10% in two weeks.

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