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The coronavirus is on the decline in many parts of California but continues to spread in Los Angeles County, sparking new debate about whether officials will need to begin easing stay-at-home restrictions in certain sections of the state while giving harder-hit regions time to flatten the curve.

The state’s epidemiological map is starting to reflect the adage that California is many states in one. Nineteen counties from Humboldt to Tuolumne have recorded no fatalities from the virus. And even moderately populated counties such as Fresno and Monterey are holding single-digit death tolls.

But Los Angeles County has had 944 people die from COVID-19, with 315 passing away last week alone.

Even adjusted for its larger population, its rate of 9.3 deaths per 100,000 people is 58% higher than the next hardest hit urban county, Riverside, and 72% higher than the epicenter of the Bay Area, Santa Clara County, according to a Times analysis of coronavirus data.

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