July 29, 2020 / 1:41 AM / 14 days ago

California sets one-day record increase in coronavirus deaths

(Reuters) - California on Tuesday set another grim record in coronavirus deaths, increasing by 171, the largest one-day rise since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters tally of county data.

With over 473,000 total confirmed cases, California is the worst-hit state in the country and added 10,000 new cases on Tuesday.

New York still has the most confirmed deaths of any state with more than 32,300, while California comes in third place with over 8,700 deaths after New Jersey.

Florida also reported a one-day record increase in deaths on Tuesday along with Arkansas, Montana and Oregon.

On Monday, nearly 200 federal healthcare workers were deployed to California’s Central Valley, where hospitals are overwhelmed, according to Governor Gavin Newsom. Many of the COVID-19 patients are working-class Latinos.

This latest increase underscores the challenge facing the nation as it struggles to contain the virus through social distancing measures and mask mandates even as the public health measures continue to divide some Americans.

Over the last week, California, the most populous state, has witnessed about 9,000 new cases on average. If California were a country, it would rank fifth in the world for total COVID-19 cases behind only the United States, Brazil, India and Russia.

California was one of the first states to order a shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic in March. But as infections continued to surge throughout the South and West, Newsom rolled back some of his reopening plans for the state, announcing the closure of some indoor venues that attract crowds such as bars, restaurants, movie theaters, zoos and museums.

The closures come as parents, teachers and states debate how to reopen schools safely. Los Angeles County and San Diego announced schools will conduct fall semester classes entirely online.

Nearly 150,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, the highest death toll in the world.

Writing by Aurora Ellis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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