As California begins reopening, fears mount of more coronavirus cases, deaths

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California is seeing signs that the increase in coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations is slowing, but there remains wide debate about whether the progress is enough to dramatically ease Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order.

The state has recorded its first week-over-week decline in reported COVID-19 deaths, according to a Times data analysis. Two weeks ago, California reported its highest one-week toll — 542 fatalities among people infected with the coronavirus. Last week, the weekly death toll dropped 9% to 495.

While it was an improvement, last week’s number was still the third-highest over the course of the pandemic.

Even hard-hit parts of the state have seen some relief.

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