California is third state to pass 25,000 coronavirus deaths

Coronavirus

In this photo taken from streaming video from the County of San Diego, is Dr. Kristian Andersen among others, announcing that California’s first detected case of the new and apparently more contagious variant of the coronavirus was found in a San Diego man, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. San Diego County officials said the infected man is a 30-year-old with no history of travel. Andersen said the emergence of the new variant underscores the need for social distancing and mask wearing. (County of San Diego via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Health officials say California has surpassed 25,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The grim milestone recorded Thursday comes as the nation’s most populated state faces a surge of COVID-19 infections that has hospitals stretched to capacity and forced nurses and doctors to treat more patients than usual.

The state Department of Public Health says hospitals in Southern California and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, which together account for a large majority of the state’s 40 million residents, have no capacity left in intensive care units to treat COVID-19 patients.

Hospitals are housing patients in hallways, conference rooms, a cafeteria and gift shops. Makeshift hospitals are being set up in tents, arenas and schools.

California was the third state to reach 25,000 deaths, behind New York, which has nearly 38,000 deaths, and Texas, which has more than 27,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

California’s reported its first case of COVID-19 in late January. It recorded it’s 10,000th death from the virus in August.

Most of the state is under newly extended restrictions that have closed or reduced capacity of businesses, and people are being urged to stay home as much as possible to try to slow the spread of infections.

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