California passes 30,000 deaths from COVID-19 as vaccine distribution lags

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- California is reporting another 548 deaths from coronavirus within the last day alone.

That brings the total number of Californians who have died since the pandemic began past the 30,000 mark.

More than 36,000 new cases statewide were also reported Tuesday.

Locally, Los Angeles County reported an additional 288 deaths and 11,994 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The county has now reported more than 944,000 cases and at this rate is on track to hit the 1 million mark later this month, possibly by next week.

The county is averaging 230 deaths a day and has reported a total of 12,674 deaths.

California hoping to speed up distribution of COVID-19 vaccine
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California is making plans to expedite vaccination for COVID-19 after lagging some other large states.



There are 7,926 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Los Angeles County, with 22% of them in the ICU.

But there is a small bit of good news this week, as the rate of increase in hospitalizations appears to be slightly decreasing, state officials say. California had been averaging 3,500 new hospitalizations per day but as of this week the rate is at 2,500 per day, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's secretary of Health and Human Services.

Still, California seems to be lagging other states in its rate of distributing COVID-19 vaccine. The state has received about 3 million doses of the vaccine, but only distributed about 816,000. By comparison, the state of Texas received 2 million doses and has distributed 911,000.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing a goal of administering an additional 1 million vaccines by this weekend.

At the same time, the state is reviewing new federal guidelines on vaccine distribution and expects to issue its own guidance by Wednesday, Ghaly said.
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