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California distributes 5,000 body bags to areas devastated by COVID-19

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is distributing 5,000 body bags mostly to the hard-hit Los Angeles and San Diego areas and has 60 refrigerated trailers standing by as makeshift morgues in anticipation of a surge of coronavirus deaths.

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The precautions come from hospitalizations that now are double the summertime peak and threaten to soon overwhelm the hospital system.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that the number of average daily deaths has quadrupled from a month ago. The surge is forcing an urgent scramble for more staff and space, a crush that might not abate for two months despite the arrival of the first doses of vaccines this week.

In Orange County, health officials said they plan to send large tents to four hospitals to help handle their patient caseloads.

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