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California COVID-19 cases surge past previous one-day record

California COVID-19 cases surge past previous one-day record
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California surpassed its single-day high for new coronavirus cases Monday, with more than 74,000, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times.

The previous all-time high in the state was 66,726 cases on Dec. 28, 11 percent lower than Monday's total, the Times reported. The state’s weekly average, which hovered around 37,000 cases over the past week, is down from the mid-December record of about 45,000.

Los Angeles County reported 79 new deaths from the virus and 10,851 new cases, while the past week’s average death count reached 184, according to the Times. Numerous testing sites were closed over New Year’s Day, and the days ahead may see a surge in new case as a result.

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“The situation is already beyond our imagination,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said Monday during a briefing, according to the newspaper. “But it could become beyond comprehension if the health restrictions in place are not fully obeyed.”

Although California is the nation’s most populous state, it also among the hardest-hit when adjusted for population. With about 96 new cases per 100,000 people every day, the state’s average is tied with Rhode Island’s. Arizona has the highest new cases per day by population, with 112, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia opens vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and up California races to get ahead of another bad fire season Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez highlight vaccine concert MORE (D) called the week ahead “critical in terms of a bigger understanding” of whether the state would see a surge in hospitalizations from the virus. Several parts of the state have reported their intensive care units are at or near capacity, with the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions reporting their ICUs are at 0 percent capacity for the past several weeks.

In other parts of the state, ICU capacity is only slightly higher, with greater Sacramento at 12.1 percent and the Bay Area at 12.1 percent, according to the Times.