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Despite a downward trend in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as growing vaccinations in Los Angeles County, the disease killed more people in January than any other month of the pandemic, data from The Times tracker show.

In the first month of 2021, 6,411 people lost their lives to COVID-19 in L.A. County, according to Times’ data — roughly 137% more than the previous most-deadly month of December, in which 2,703 people died. To date, nearly 17,000 have died of the disease in the county.

And it’s not just Los Angeles that is seeing skyrocketing death tolls. California reported its largest number of deaths in January too: 14,940. Statewide totals since the start of the pandemic are nearing 41,000, signifying that at least 1 in every 1,000 Californians has been killed by COVID-19.

Currently, only about 2,700 deaths separate California and New York, where just over 43,600 people have died of the illness since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But New York saw its peak in April, while California is still reeling from a surge that began in late November.

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