After reporting unusually low numbers of daily COVID-related deaths over the past 72 hours, California on Wednesday announced 197 new coronavirus fatalities. That’s a 20 percent jump from the previous single-day high of 159, recorded last Friday.
State and local officials have said the numbers were significantly lower recently because of delays caused by a new federal reporting process. As a result, Wednesday’s number could be a bit inflated because of those daily test results.
That comes just two days after the governor announced at his daily news conference that the state’s Central Valley was the new major area of concern.
While the 14-day average rate of positive tests statewide is 7.5 percent, that rate in the Central Valley ranges between 10.7 and 17.7 percent. Essential workers at farms, manufacturing and prisons there have been hit especially hard.
California also reported 8,755 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday. That’s slightly below the 14-day average of 9,293 daily new cases.
Reported COVID-related hospitalization were up Wednesday to 6,939, an increase of 43 patients. The number of coronavirus patients in the ICU rose by 37 to 2,012.
The state now has 475,305 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Those have resulted in 8,715 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 2.3 percent from the previous day’s total of 8,518. The number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results in California reached a total of 7,517,466, an increase of 99,600. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 7.4 percent. That is slightly down from the 7.5 percent reported earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the Orange County Board of Education announced on Wednesday that it decided — by a 4-0 vote — to file a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Public Health Officer to seek a court order that sets aside the state orders preventing public schools from holding in-person classes and resuming services on campus.
The vote came during a closed session Tuesday night, according to a statement.
The board’s lawyers said in a statement that the California Supreme Court has interpreted the California Constitution to require that California schoolchildren have a constitutional right to substantially equal opportunities for learning, and the governor’s order will unequally burden the most underprivileged families of California.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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