California reports record spike in new Covid-19 deaths

California reported its highest increase in single-day coronavirus fatalities on New Year’s Day since the onset of the pandemic.

A total of 585 new coronavirus deaths were reported on Friday, shattering Thursday’s record of 428 deaths by a significant amount, Xinhua news agency quoted the latest data released by the state government on Friday as saying.

The new figure increased California’s overall death toll to 25,971.

Los Angeles County, the most populous in the US, has witnessed a majority of the deaths in the state.

On Friday, the county’s Department of Public Health reported 207 new fatalities.

The state also reported 47,189 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, of which the Los Angeles County accounted for 20,414.

California’s total caseload currently stood at 2,292,568.

The CBSLA news channel reported that hospitals across the Los Angeles and other counties in Southern California had been stretched to their limits, as the county’s seven-day daily positivity rate increased from 18.2 per cent on Christmas Day to 21.5 per cent on New Year’s Day.

Cathy Chidester, director of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, told CBSLA that there were reports of hospitals being so overwhelmed that ambulances were being forced to wait up to eight hours in emergency bays to unload passengers.

“We’re running out of ambulances, and our response to 911 calls is getting longer and longer,” she said.