California coronavirus deaths start leveling off as hospitalizations drop

California coronavirus deaths start leveling off as
hospitalizations drop 1

Coronavirus deaths have started to slow down in California since early August as hospitalizations drop significantly, a sign that the summer’s surge in infections has ebbed.

The state’s seven-day average for deaths has leveled off over the past week since hitting an all-time high of 145 on August 6th, according to data compiled by this news organization. That average dropped to about 125 weekly deaths as of Tuesday, with 181 deaths reported in a single day statewide.

Southern California accounts for the bulk of the deaths, with Los Angeles County alone making up 5,335 of the state’s 11,523 deaths. Since hitting a seven-day average peak of more than 50 deaths in mid-July, the county’s weekly deaths have since dropped below 40 for the first time in three weeks.

The Bay Area meanwhile reported 12 new deaths Tuesday, with four in Santa Clara, three in Alameda and one or two scattered among other counties. Alameda County now leads the region in terms of both deaths and cases, with 224 total deaths — just ahead of Santa Clara’s 213 — and more than 15,000 cases.

Hospitalizations have dropped significantly statewide over the past month. Earlier this week, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped below 5,000 for the first time since late June — and marking a 30% decrease since a peak of more than 7,000 hospitalized patients in late July. That slowdown is again mostly thanks to hospitalization decreases in Southern California counties, most notably Los Angeles, which has shed about 900 patients — or 40% — since its late July peak and now accounts for 1,378 of the state’s total patients.

Even so, hospitalizations crept upward slightly statewide to 5,061 Monday, when data was most recently available. In the Bay Area, the number of hospitalized patients has increased steadily for the past week, with 726 patients as of Monday compared to 688 last Thursday — about a 5% increase across the 10-county region.

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Alameda and Santa Clara counties again account for the bulk of those patients. With 205 people now hospitalized in Alameda — a nearly 25% increase since last week — the county is once again rivaling its late July peak of 213 people. In Santa Clara, the trend line has hovered roughly between 180 and 170 people for much of the last month.

A total of 6,018 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide Tuesday, bringing the state’s total cases since the pandemic began to 640,259. About 35% of those, or more than 224,000, are located in Los Angeles.

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