California virus surge brings body bags, makeshift morgues

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Health care workers conduct tests at the state run COVID-19 testing location at the Grace Mellman Community Library in Temecula. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is distributing 5,000 body bags mostly to the hard-hit Los Angeles and San Diego areas and has 60 refrigerated trailers standing by as makeshift morgues in anticipation of a surge of coronavirus deaths from hospitalizations that now are double the summertime peak and threaten to overwhelm the hospital system, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. The number of average daily deaths has quadrupled from 41 a month ago to 163 now, while positive cases have surged to more than 32,500 each day. Of those new cases, an anticipated 12% will wind up in the hospital and 12% of those hospitalized will crowd already stretched intensive care units. One day's worth of cases can be expected to produce a staggering 3,900 hospitalizations and nearly 500 ICU patients.
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