California recorded 92 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the fatal toll of the virus in the state to 4,084, starting with Patricia Dowd, 57, who died in her East San Jose home in February 6, weeks before the rapid spread of the virus prompted an unprecedented shelter-in-place order.
California counties also reported 2,959 new COVID-19 cases, just one shy of the most new cases reported in a single day, a record set on Tuesday. New cases have spiked statewide and in parts of the Bay Area, although it’s hard to know if that’s indicative of the continued spread of the virus or a result of a ramp-up in COVID-19 testing.
The state now has a seven-day average of 2,313 new daily cases — the highest daily average since the start of the pandemic — and 59.6 new daily deaths. New deaths have been slowly declining over the past week after averaging more than 70 new daily fatalities for most of May.
The majority of the new fatalities reported Friday were in Southern California, led by Los Angeles County with 49 deaths, Riverside County with 10, San Bernardino County with nine and San Diego County with six. Four of the new fatalities were in the Bay Area, including two in San Mateo County, which on Friday also announced it would begin reopening churches and in-store retail with precautions starting Monday. San Francisco and Alameda counties each also reported one new COVID-19 death.
“These modifications seek to increase the immunity of the population slowly and methodically, while minimizing death. We are trying to keep equity in mind and minimizing economic damage, while not overloading the health care system,” San Mateo County health officer Dr. Scott Morrow said on Friday.
Alameda County, which now has the most coronavirus cases in the Bay Area, recorded 98 new cases on Friday. But the bulk of the new cases statewide — 1,788 of them — were in Los Angeles County.
As of Thursday, California had reported 44,919 new COVID-19 tests — that’s about 700 fewer new tests than were reported a week earlier, on April 21.
The number of patients in intensive care unit beds with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases in California also ticked up slightly, up by three to 1,328 as of Thursday. The number of patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases declined by 115 to 4,414.