California records deadliest month of coronavirus pandemic: Report

California recorded its deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in August, with 3,745 deaths, according to a report.

The data, analyzed by the Los Angeles Times, marked an 18% increase in COVID-19 fatalities over July.

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Despite the highpoint in deaths, the Times said data showed improvements in hospitalizations, which fell 45% from the month ago. It also said there was a 14% decline in the seven-day average of daily deaths from the start of August.

In total, California has more than 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 12,933 deaths, according to the state department of health. Nearly 7,000 of those deaths came during July and August, the Associated Press reported.

FILE – In this July 12, 2020, file photo, pedestrians wear masks as they cross a street amid the coronavirus pandemic in Santa Monica, Calif. The torrid coronavirus summer across the Sun Belt is easing after two disastrous months that brought more than 35,000 deaths. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

The report comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new reopening plan Friday that will allow counties to move through a four-phase system based on their number of new coronavirus cases and the percentage of positive tests.

Newsom said the new system will be simple, but more gradual than the old one. It gives the state more power, instead of counties. In May, Newsom handed more power to counties after local authorities complained the original requirements were too strict.

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In the 10 weeks since summer began, the global count of confirmed infections has more than tripled and deaths have nearly doubled, according to data tallied by Johns Hopkins University.

“It’s been a summer of fire, not ice,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “If anything, we’ve learned that this virus is even nastier than we thought it was in the spring.”

As of Tuesday, there were more than 25.3 million global infections and more than 850,000 deaths. The United States accounted for more than 6 million infections and 183,000 of the dead. About 68,000 of the U.S. deaths have come since the start of summer, and the number of American infections nearly tripled in the same period.

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Texas amassed more than 10,000 virus deaths in July and August, and Florida added more than 7,600.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.