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Coronavirus: Bay Area records deadliest day ever led by Alameda and Santa Clara counties

The Bay Area had its deadliest day in the pandemic on Friday, reporting 34 new COVID-19 fatalities, a number led by double-digit death counts in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

The new deaths bring the total of fatalities in the nine-county Bay Area, plus Santa Cruz County, to 1,278, and break a record for most deaths reported in one day set a little more than a week ago, when the counties reported 30 deaths on Sept. 3, according to data compiled by this news organization. The 34 deaths include 16 fatalities reported in Alameda County, the third-most ever in that county, and 13 in Santa Clara County, the most ever there.

Statewide, California reported 172 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, led by Los Angeles County with 43, followed by Alameda County, then Kern County with 15 deaths. That was followed by Santa Clara, Orange and Fresno counties.

The state also reported 4,245 new cases, again led by Los Angeles with 1,042 cases, Sacramento County with 394 and San Diego County with 361. That was followed by Santa Clara, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. There have been a total of 755,554 cases and 14,261 deaths in California.

The number of deaths reported in the state is higher than the seven-day average on Thursday of 85 daily deaths, an average that has been slowly declining from a peak of 145 on Aug. 2.

The number of new cases was also slightly higher than the seven-day average of 3,594 daily cases. That’s down from a recent peak of 9,154 daily cases on Aug. 16.

Case and death data are based on when each county publically reported new numbers, not necessarily when those infections or fatalities occurred.

Statewide trends seem to show California has almost completely beaten back a wave of infections that began in June after government officials began lifting lockdown orders and allowed more business and social activities to resume. The statewide testing positivity rate’s seven-day average is 3.7 percent, lower than the 14-day average of 4 percent.

Hospitalizations for patients with coronavirus declined 4.4 percent on Thursday from the previous day to 3,142. That’s the lowest number of patients hospitalized in the state since June 14. The bulk of hospitalized patients are in Southern California, led by Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties.

The number of patients in intensive care unit beds with COVID-19 was also down 1.6 percent from the previous day to 1,023. That’s lower than the pre-summer surge low of 1,053 ICU patients on June 16, and it’s the fewest number of ICU patients in the state since April 3.

On Friday, Santa Clara County reported 289 new cases, along with its 13 new fatalities, for a total of 19,143 cases and 276 deaths in the county since the start of the pandemic.

That spike comes just days after the county was moved from purple to red in the state’s new risk tier system. Red, indicating substantial spread, is for counties with daily new case rates between 4 and 7 cases per 100,000 residents. Before Friday, the county had a seven-day average of 6.3 cases per 100,000 residents.

Alameda County, which is in the most restrictive purple tier indicating the virus is widespread, reported 108 new cases along with the 16 deaths for a total of 19,819 cases and 320 deaths. Contra Costa County reported 92 new cases and one death for a total of 15,058 cases and 189 deaths.

San Mateo County reported 71 cases and three deaths, for a total of 8,966 cases and 139 deaths. San Francisco, which is in the red tier, reported 68 cases and one death for a total of 10,188 cases and 89 deaths.

Update: The number of cases and deaths reported in California on Friday has been updated in this story with data from some counties not originally included.

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