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Infection growth slows in California, but deaths surge

California overall is not experiencing the same alarming surge in COVID-19 infections as it did in late June and early July, but record-breaking death tolls reported this week underscore the continued seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.

California set a new record Wednesday when it reported its highest COVID-19 death toll in a single day with 197 dead. On Thursday, the state reported another 194 deaths, the second highest single-day coronavirus death toll thus far.

Deaths have dramatically increased from the flat-line levels in May and June: As of Thursday, an average of 112 people died from the virus in California every day over the last two weeks. Two weeks ago, about 84 people died every day on average over a two-week period.

Some of those deaths, however, may have occurred several days or weeks ago because of the verification process used by local health officials.

In the last week, California

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