California braces for surge in coronavirus deaths as cases double in state


New coronavirus cases roughly doubled in California over the last month. Hospitalizations have soared 88%, filling some medical centers close to capacity.

Now, public health officials are bracing for the grimmest phase of the cycle: a spike in COVID-19 fatalities.

So far, new deaths have remained relatively flat in California even as cases have surged. In the last six weeks, the state has recorded an average of 436 weekly coronavirus deaths, down from the previous six-week average of 510 weekly deaths, according to a Los Angeles Times data analysis. But deaths are a lagging indicator, and many experts predict an increase in the coming weeks.

California has seen far fewer coronavirus fatalities than some hot spots across the country, recording more than 6,400 deaths, compared with more than 32,000 in New York and 15,000 in New Jersey.

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